Oswego coach George Roll confirmed Saturday that he is in discussion with Clarkson to replace fired coach Mark Morris.
When asked if he had been offered the Clarkson job, Roll replied, “I have to be honest with you. They have called me, and I have talked to them. I asked them to continue our discussions after the season.”
Reports surfaced Friday that Roll had been named to the post, but the former Clarkson assistant said that terms of an offer had yet to be finalized.
“I don’t know where the report came from,” said Roll. “I don’t think that anyone from Clarkson has made an official announcement, and certainly I haven’t. There are still some things to work through, and things we need to do. … How the story got out or if people think it is finalized, I don’t know. It certainly didn’t come from me.”
Roll said that he has been open with his current team about his application for the Clarkson job. “We’ve been talking about it all along. I’ve been up front and honest with [the players] and I just didn’t think tonight was the right time,” said Roll.
“Right now, we are just trying to concentrate on winning a national championship. I know it is a distraction, but our players have been awfully good about it. They feel that our goal is to go out on a winning note. They don’t see this as a deterrent, and have been very positive about this whole thing.”
Oswego advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the first time since 1987 with a 4-3 win over visiting Wentworth on Saturday.
Roll, who is also interim athletic director at Oswego, has been head coach since 1997. He was a member of Bowling Green’s 1984 national championship team, and was captain the following year.
U.S. Hockey Report said last week that Roll was a finalist for the job along with three other former Clarkson assistants, Jim Roque, Ron Rolston, and Greg Dreschel. That insider publication and web site reported Friday — without citing a source — that Roll had been awarded the job.
Clarkson fired Morris in November after a brief investigation into a post-practice confrontation between Morris and forward Zach Schwan. Morris later filed two lawsuits against the university, which were reported to be for $10 million in damages based on lost future earnings and for $1 million in damages for breach of contract.
Morris assistant Fred Parker served as interim coach for the remainder of the 2002-2003 season.
Roll’s comments came in the NCAA press conference following Saturday’s quarterfinal win. Oswego will travel to Norwich to face Middlebury next Friday.