The shortlist: who’s next behind the bench?

By April 7, 2019 Opinion

Note: this post contains the opinions of its writer only. The names mentioned are not suggestions and are merely presented for informative purposes.

It’s been nine years since the Falcons have had to hire a hockey coach. The scenario for that selection couldn’t be any more different than it was in 2009. Bowling Green is on a solid footing and is coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 29 years. So who might be kicking the tires on a possible position as the bench boss for the Bowling Green? Consider this non-exhaustive list.

Ty Eigner

Eigner has been one of the top names mentioned for the position ever since news broke last week that there’d be an opening. The Minnesota native has been with Bowling Green as an assistant coach for nine seasons and is an alum of BG. If the aim for the athletic department is to continue the momentum sustained under Bergeron, then this would be a proper pick.

Barry Schutte

Schutte’s availability comes with some questions. College Hockey News reported that Schutte was likely joining Bergeron in Miami. However, we’ve yet to be able to confirm that and it’s entirely possible Schutte could be available to remain in BG. LIke Eigner, Schutte has been with BG as an assistant coach for nine seasons and would be an option for continued success. The call back to Oxford could be too much though.

Dennis Williams

This wouldn’t be Williams’ first go-round as the Falcons’ head coach. Williams took over for a departing Scott Paluch during the darkest days of Falcon hockey. Williams was the Interim Head Coach for the 2008-2009 season before being replaced with Bergeron. Williams has experienced constant success in the junior hockey ranks and is currently the Head Coach for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. “Willy” seems to be on a route to the professional ranks, but he’s certainly earned another look from BG.

Wayne Wilson

Wilson was a member of the Falcons’ 1984 National Championship squad. He’s helped build RIT into a competitive program despite facing the hindrance of not being able to provide athletic scholarships. Wilson loves Bowling Green and it could be said he sees it as a dream job. The question is whether Wilson would want to start over at 56 years old after 19+ seasons at RIT?

Brian Hills

“Hillsy” is an assistant coach at RIT under Wayne Wilson and has the second-most points in BGSU hockey history (116-154–270, 156 GP). Hills has been an assistant coach at RIT since the 2005-2006 season and has been considered for head coaching jobs in recent years. Hills’ offensive-first mindset would be an adjustment for the Falcons that have thrived defensively.

Doug Schueller

Schueller spent time as an assistant coach at Bowling Green for Paluch’s last season and Williams’ campaign as coach. This is in addition to his time as a player at BG from 1997-2001. Since leaving BG Schueller has been the Head Coach at division three St. John’s in Minnesota. If they’re looking for an established head coach from outside the program then Schueller could get a phone call.

Todd Knott

One of these names is not like the other, and it’s the current Associate Head Coach at Minnesota State University Todd Knott (pronounced cuh-not). Knott is considered one of the best assistant coaches in college hockey who seems due for a head position sooner than later. The question would be whether the Bemidji State alumn would be willing to head east of the Mississippi for the first time in his career?

Dan Bylsma

Every list needs a wildcard, and Disco Dan has that distinction here. Bylsma’s resumé is extensive including an extensive NHL playing career, an NHL coaching career, and international experience including a bronze medal as a coach at the World Championships. Bylsma is a proud Falcon grad including purchasing the student’s block of tickets at a past WCHA tournament round. Bylsma is currently an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings with three years remaining on his contract there. He is also still being paid for one more season from his contract with the Buffalo Sabres. But, if Bylsma is looking for a job away from the rat race of the NHL that keeps him close to his home in western Michigan then Bowling Green could be an attractive destination.

As we already wrote, this is in no way an exhaustive list. The possibilities for BGSU Athletic Director Bob Moosbrugger are nearly limitless. But, what is clear is that Moosbrugger is facing arguably the most important hire of his young career. This is a program on an upward trajectory that will need to quickly fill its vacancy to stabilize the program and ensure there isn’t a loss of recruits. We would expect a decision to come as early as this week.

Drew Evans

About Drew Evans

Drew is a co-founder and the editor for BGSUHockey.com. When he's not in the press box he makes (legal) drugs at a northwest Ohio compounding pharmacy. Drew is entering his eighth season covering Falcon hockey and has been a fan of the program since his time as a student beginning in 2003. He can be reached on Twitter @BGSUHockeySite and by e-mail at Drew@bgsuhockey.com.