Friday, June 08, 2007

North to Alaska… Literally: UNO’s DelCastillo Gets the Head Coaching Job in Fairbanks.

The newest Nanook is coming. His name? Doc DelCastillo, and he hails from Nebraska.

Actually, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, to be specific.

The CHN reports that UNO assistant Doc DelCastillo has been hired as the new head coach at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. DelCastillo is the seventh head hockey coach at Alaska-Fairbanks in the 27-year history of the program.

DelCastillo replaces former head coach and Alaska-Fairbanks Alumnus Tavis MacMillan, who, after three seasons, amassed an overall record of 46-54-15 with the Nanooks. During his tenure, MacMillan guided the Nanooks to nine CCHA playoff victories, three first-round road playoff series wins, and wins against three #1 ranked teams – including a memorable series against Minnesota in 2005, where UAF defeated and tied the #1 Golden Gophers in consecutive nights at Mariucci Arena.

MacMillan resigned from Alaska’s head coaching position on April 5th, noting that he wanted to “pursue other opportunities in the hockey world.” Although MacMillan did not clarify what those “other opportunities” were, CHN reports that MacMillan will be following his wife to Minneapolis for business-related reasons.

Before coaching at UNO, DelCastillo was a head coach in the USHL for three seasons, and also was an assistant at St. Cloud State. DelCastillo played at SCSU from 1988 to 1992, and was named as a captain at forward in his senior year.

Alaska AD Forrest Karr noted that DelCastillo, who was a finalist for the head coaching job at Alabama-Huntsville, was hired in part because of his recruiting prowess and his “… history of elevating some Division I programs that are within Division II athletic departments.”

DelCastillo beat out St. Cloud State assistant Eric Rud, current Alaska assistant Wade Klippenstein, and Wisconsin assistant Kevin Patrick for the job.

For more information regarding the new hire in Fairbanks, visit Eric Carlsons “Alaska Nanooks Hockey” Blog.

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