The Anaheim Ducks will not be hiring Scott Sandelin as their next head coach. According to Matt Wellens of the Duluth News Tribune, the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs coach has signed a four-year extension to stay in the NCAA through the 2024-25 season. Sandelin interviewed for the Ducks’ coaching vacancy on Monday, but will make $400K next season with the Bulldogs as he looks for his third consecutive national championship.
It’s hard to imagine Sandelin finding a better situation than he is in right now, even if the NHL is the pinnacle of coaching for many professionals. The former NHL defenseman has been the head of the UMD program for nearly two decades and has experienced nearly unprecedented success. With three NCAA championships, and an all-time tournament record of 21-6 there was little reason for the school to look anywhere else to continue to lead the program. Not to mention the financial stability his success has brought the university, as athletic director Josh Berlo explained in a statement:
Under Scott’s leadership, the UMD men’s hockey program has provided incredible value through exposure on comprehensive institutional success. The program’s recent achievements have generated over $20 million in earned media attention that shines a spotlight on the impressive academics, vibrant student life, groundbreaking research and exciting faculty accomplishments at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Sandelin’s extension does however mean the Ducks must look elsewhere in their search. The team was originally expected to hand the reins over to minor league head coach Dallas Eakins, but instead are taking their time with a thorough interview process of several candidates. It is not clear where GM Bob Murray will eventually land in his decision, but we now know at least one candidate is off the board.