Omaha chooses former player Gabinet as new associate head coach

Omaha announced Wednesday that Mike Gabinet will join the staff as the team’s associate head coach.

“Mike is an outstanding coach who has had great success as both a head coach and assistant at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology,” said Omaha head coach Dean Blais in a statement. “He impressed us right away with his knowledge and passion for the game and as an alum, he is all in with what it means to be a Maverick.”

“It was important for us to find someone with a prior connection to our program and a distinguished one at that,” added associate athletic director Mike Kemp, who oversees hockey and is a former head coach. “When we recruited Mike as a player, we saw in him someone who had a great mind for the game. He looked at that game more deeply than the average player, and some of that likely was because he was the grandson of Canadian coaching legend Clare Drake, and because Mike is also the son of a coach.”

Gabinet recently completed his first season as the head coach of NAIT after three years as an associate coach there. He led his team to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship with a perfect 36-0 record. He was named the ACAC Coach of the Year and became the first rookie head coach to guide his team to the conference championship since 2005-06. He also was the first rookie head coach in Canadian college hockey history to guide his team to an undefeated season.

Omaha assistant coaches Troy Jutting and Alex Todd were fired back on March 30.