UNO loses another assistant coach

Nebraska-Omaha assistant coach Brian Renfrew, pictured, has left the Mavericks after accepting a scouting position with the Winnipeg Jets, according to the Omaha World Herald.

Renfrew spent the 2011-12 season at UNO after the previous eight seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State. Renfrew will be able to work out of Lansing, Mich., where his family had maintained its residence after Renfrew took the UNO job last summer.

“We’ll look for just the best available coach no matter the position [of expertise],” Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais said. “At this time of year, you just find the best guy available. We all share in the position responsibilities and specialty teams. There are good people out there who are willing to move.”

This is now Blais’ second coaching change this offseason as former associate head coach Mike Hastings left in April to become head coach at Minnesota State. Steve Johnson was named Hastings’ successor in June.

UNO recently added Sam Spomer as its director of hockey operations, while Bliss Littler, who worked as a volunteer assistant coach for the Mavericks after dismissal by the United States Hockey League’s Omaha Lancers midway through last season, was recently named head coach of the Wenatchee (Wash.) Wild of the North American Hockey League.

UNO announces assistant coach hire

From Nebraska-Omaha sports info …

OMAHA, Neb. – University of Nebraska Omaha head hockey coach Dean Blais announced today that Steve Johnson has been named the team’s new assistant coach.  He replaces Mike Hastings who left UNO following the 2011-12 season to take the head coach position at Minnesota State.

“I’m very pleased to have a coach of Steve’s caliber fill the void left by Mike Hastings’ departure,” said Blais.  “Steve has the ability to be a great recruiter for us, and his on-ice skills as a coach are very strong as shown by his work in both the United States Hockey League and at the college level.  His knowledge and experience will make our team stronger. ”

Johnson spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at WCHA rival school St. Cloud State.  Prior to that, he succeeded Blais as the head coach of the Fargo Force of the USHL where he coached for one season, leading the Force to the 2010 Clark Cup Finals.

For more, click this link. The search to replace Johnson at St. Cloud State is already underway judging from this job posting.