Green Bay Gamblers president Rob Nicholson has denied an Internet report that Harvard coach Mark Mazzoleni was offered the vacant head coaching position with the Gamblers.
The web site ushockeynews.com attributed two unnamed sources in its report that Mazzoleni was offered the position with the United States Hockey League team. [nl]Nicholson denied that report during an interview on the Green Bay FOX-TV affiliate. Nicholson has mentioned that three people are finalists for the position, but has declined to name them.
Messages left with Mazzoleni and Green Bay officials have not been returned as of today.
A recent article in the Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette suggested that the three candidates could be Mazzoleni, nearby St. Norbert coach Tim Coghlin, and current Green Bay assistant Luke Strand, who was previously an assistant under Coghlin.
The Green Bay job opened when former coach Mark Osiecki left to take the assistant position at his alma mater, Wisconsin.
Mazzoleni, who played junior hockey in Green Bay before attending Michigan State, is a long-time friend of [nl]Nicholson. He has coached at Harvard for five years, taking them to three straight NCAA tournament appearances and three straight ECAC tournament finals. Harvard won two ECAC championships in the last three years, but has not won an NCAA game.
Harvard finished sixth in the league this past season, but won the ECAC tournament championship over Clarkson, before losing a 5-4 heartbreaker to Maine in the NCAAs by allowing four unanswered third-period goals. Mazzoleni’s record at Harvard is 82-72-13.
Mazzoleni, a Green Bay native, started his head coaching career with six seasons at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. After spending four years as an assistant at Minnesota, he went to Miami, where he was head coach for five seasons.