Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass hockey names Gordon Bombay as its next head coach

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Graphic Created by Randy Crandon

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By Bucci Mane

There’s been a Steve Harvey-esque mix-up.

Just days after University of Massachusetts athletic director Ryan Bamford announced that Greg Carvel was named the next coach of the Massachusetts hockey team, he’s changed his mind.

Late Wednesday evening, UMass announced it hired longtime Mighty Ducks head coach Gordon Bombay as the new head coach of the Minutemen. Bombay’s contract is a three-year deal worth $15 million.

“I messed up,” Bamford said. “We initially thought that Carvel was the perfect fit to lead our hockey program, but when Gordon Bombay calls you up and says he wants to return to coaching, you hire Gordon Bombay.”

According to the press release, Carvel’s contract will be paid out in full by Massachusetts tax payers.

“I promised our fans that we would make a big splash and sign a household name, and I think we accomplished that today,” Bamford said.

Bombay first entered the coaching scene after a brief stint as a lawyer with Ducksworth, Saver & Gross firm. Although he never lost a case, he was presumed inept for the job by his peers at the law firm and was sentenced to coach youth hockey as a punishment.

The Minneapolis native coached the Mighty Ducks to the District 5 peewee championship back in 1992 after using the famous “flying-v” formation to score the game-tying goal late in regulation. A year later, Bombay coached Team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games, where they won the championship against Iceland in a historic shootout.

“It’s an honor to be named coach of the UMass hockey program,” Bombay said in a phone interview with The Worldwide Leader. “You guys saw what I did with the Mighty Ducks back in ’92, there’s no doubt in my mind that I can turn this program around in no time.”

“I’ll tell you what, man,” said John Gruden, a longtime ESPN broadcaster and former NFL coach-turned hockey expert for this one article. “Watching the Mighty Ducks run the flying-v is like watching actual ducks take flight when they migrate south for the winter. It’s unbelievable the speed and precision watching those ducks take flight. I love ducks, man.”

Gruden wasn’t the only staffer in Bristol, Connecticut to catch wind of the Bombay hiring either. Ron Jaworski – who literally does nothing but watches film all day – took some time out of his morning to analyze the flying-v Bombay is bringing to Amherst.

“I spent 172 straight hours watching film this morning watching the 1992 Mighty Ducks run the flying-v and now that’s why I truly believe the UMass hockey team will be the best hockey team ever.”

Bombay hasn’t coached since the 1994 Junior Goodwill Games and has spent the past 22 years hanging out with members of The Breakfast Club.

UMass finished the 2015-16 season with an 8-24-4 (2-16-4 Hockey East) record and was eliminated by Boston University in two games in the first round of the Hockey East tournament.

Bombay also said he plans on reaching out to Charlie Conway to gage his interest in joining the staff as an assistant coach and director of player personnel.

“It’s time we turn this program around. There’s no doubt in my mind we can find a way to win games in a very competitive Hockey East conference,” Bombay said. “I’m ready for this challenge and ready to put UMass hockey on the map.”

Bucci Mane can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @BucciMane.

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