The 2012-13 Preseason Head Coaches Call was conducted on Oct. 3, 2012. Below are the opening statements from each of the 11 head coaches on their expectations for the upcoming Celebrate the Legacy season. You can also listen to the full audio clip of each coach, where they take a more detailed look at their team and answer questions from the media.
Alaska head coach Dallas Ferguson - For full audio, click here
For our group coming of last season there was a sense of disappointment, we didn’t expect to be where we were with our record and we wanted to learn from it to make us better for this season. And it has been a learning experience. One of things that is important to us is to focus on the process. We do not worry about those things we can’t control. We all want to win a championship, however we want to get better each day. We control what we can control. I like the character of our group and the leadership of our group. So far from what I have seen we are heading into the right direction.
We have eight freshmen coming in that have latched onto the culture that we have here and what is expected every day. We are seeing them grow every day. We have a mature group and they are getting acclimated to our campus. Pre-season will be important to us.
Bowling Green head coach Chris Bergeron - For full audio, click here
Our expectations this season are just strictly to be more consistent. When you have a roller coaster ride like we did a year ago - with a young team no doubt - with us being a year older and some guys have been around this culture for a couple years now, we expect to be more consistent on a daily basis.
The ebbs and flows of last season were just way too big. This year we expect to be a lot more consistent in our approach day-to-day and ultimately that is going to show up in our play.
The run at the end of last year absolutely proved that progress was being made. From the players perspective, I think they realized they can play with anybody when they do things a certain way. We are going to continue to remind ourselves that when things are done a certain way we can play and compete at a high level in this league.
Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels - For full audio, click here
I am certain that anyone listening, including myself, never expected the type of year that we had last season. We thought we were better than what the preseason polls indicated a year ago. We felt we could have a very good season but we didn’t anticipate the type of year we had either.
I think what you can take from it is, you never really know when your time is going to come. I feel the same way about this year. I guess our expectations this year would be no different than what they were going into last year, and the year prior to that. We always felt that if we can be in the upper division in terms of a finish to the regular season, get home ice in the playoffs and advance to Joe Louis, then we will have a good chance of hitting our final goal, which is getting an NCAA bid. So while last year was a great season, and we hope to build on that, and maybe prove that what we did a year ago we can do again, our goals haven’t changed at all from what they were going into last season. Pretty much every year we have very similar type goals.
Lake Superior head coach Jim Roque - For full audio, click here
Starting the year, we are a little inexperienced in a few areas. We had a couple of underclassmen sign (pro contracts) in Zach Trotman and Kyle Jean that set us back a little bit. Then we had a situation over the summer where Colin Campbell is not going to start the year because of shoulder surgery. Not only did we lose some good seniors, we lost some good underclassmen.
So we will be a little young to start the year, but I think we have some really good freshmen last year that had a lot of minutes and we will be looking for those guys to step up. We have an excellent goalie in Kevin Kapalka and we return five very good defensemen, so I think defensively we will be fine. I think it might take some time to find ourselves up front, but hopefully Domenic Monardo, Nick McParland, Kellan Lain, Ben Power and some of our older kids can carry the load early on.
Miami head coach Enrico Blasi - For full audio, click here
We are excited to start the season and our expectations are no different any other year. We expect to improve every day and make sure that we’re playing our best hockey at the right time. But more importantly, more so than any other year, we have 12 new faces on our team and so our philosophy of just trying to be the best that we can be each and every day is really important going into the year.
We’ve got a really good senior captain in defenseman Steven Spinell that will lead the way, not only on the ice but off the ice as well. I think our schedule is one that is extremely challenging not only in our league from weekend to weekend but non-conference and obviously we’ve got a big game in February at Soldier Field with our league rival, Notre Dame. With so many alums in the Chicago area, both hockey alums and Miami alums, it will be a special event for our university and everybody associated with it.
Michigan head coach Red Berenson - For full audio, click here
Like everyone else, we think we should have a better year this year than we had last year, even though we ended up in second place and got to the CCHA Championship. We still think we can do a little better, go a little higher and be a little more consistent in all areas. We are always shooting for the top of the league and as you have been mentioning, it is the last season of the CCHA and I am sure everyone wants to finish it off well.
Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos - For full audio, click here
We have high expectations and establish high goals for ourselves. At the same time, we know we’re in the midst of a process to get better. We felt we made some progress last year. Obviously, it was a year of significant change, new coaching staff, and players learning new the coaching staff and vice versa. It’s great coming into this year to have a little bit of change and continue on.
We have 12 new players here and with that, it’s a lot of newness and enthusiasm for sure and that’s going to be exciting and at the same time, we’re inexperienced and that will present a challenge for us. So we’re trying to get better every week. We’re excited about the season. We’re anxious to see where we’re at and in dealing with challenges. And again, with so much newness this year, we try to build on what we established last year.
Northern Michigan head coach Walt Kyle - For full audio, click here
It is one of those years where we graduated three really good forwards last year that logged a lot of minutes of ice time in Justin Florek, Andrew Cherniwchan and Tyler Gron. And I am not a guy that believes on putting hard expectations on a team. Certainly, we are going to try and win every game we play in and try to win a league championship.
I think that we have some real good attributes. Our team is going to be built from the goal out. We return Jared Coreau, who was our starting goaltender a year ago and had a real strong second half. We return our top seven defensemen from the team a year ago. We return a core of forwards that have a good, solid work ethic and a fairly veteran group, but there is not a lot of predictable offense or a lot of guys that have scored a lot.
I would tell you the strength of our team is going to be at defense and in goal and in our work ethic. The area we are going to have to grow in our offense. I like the group of guys we have. They are extremely coachable. I like our leadership and our chemistry. Those are things to me that, at the end of the day, determine how good you do.
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson - For full audio, click here
Like everyone, we have high expectations going into the year. For the last two years we have had a fairly young team. Now, especially led by a fairly big junior class, we are a much more experienced team. I think that hopefully will help us learn to be more consistent on a regular basis and also be able to embrace expectations as opposed to letting them overcome us. I think that was a problem last year. With that large class we had as freshmen two years ago getting to the Frozen Four, I think expectations became a little bit more of a negative than a positive, with guys putting so much pressure on themselves. Coming back as sophomores I think a number of them had years that were not close to what they were as freshmen.
Hopefully this year, having gone through the good and the bad, I think that group will certainly be able to rebound from an off season for a number of them. We are excited. We think we have a good group coming back and we have a strong group of freshmen coming in so it should be a nice blend.
Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki - For full audio, click here
Our expectations are that we are trying to build off what we have done the past couple of years and certainly last year. We will be extremely young again this season but we have to find a way of going through the phases of learning how to handle some success, handle a little bit of adversity and, at the same point, keep on building on the history and tradition of this program.
We feel like there has been a big transition from when we came in as a staff. We feel like we’ve got the culture that we wanted to create here, from an athletic-department standpoint, and from us as a staff as well. For us this season, we want to build on it and there are two aspects to it. We have to get over that hump, and understand and handle success. We are also in the process of trying to find some leaders within our dressing room. And that’s a tough deal to come by because natural-born leaders are not always right there and right now, with a small senior class and some guys who haven’t had a lot of experience in terms of playing time, our leadership is something that we definitely look forward to identifying.
Western Michigan head coach Andy Murray - For full audio, click here
Our basic expectations this season are to play hard every night. Last year after Christmas we had a hard time wining Saturday night games and split most weekends. We are learning the need to be prepared for every single game. We had a great summer and players are in great shape. We are excited about the year but of course we haven’t done anything yet. We are ranked fairly high in some of the pre-season polls and although I am not sure how that happens given we haven’t done anything yet we are excited about the upcoming season.