The blame for the constant mid-table finishes is starting to be directed at head coach Mike Kemp, who has led the Mavericks in all 12 years of their existence as a Division I program. Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald talked with UNO Chancellor John Christensen about his expectations for the program, and Christensen's answer sounds like a stern wake-up call to Kemp:
"I want our hockey team in the top four in the conference as a standard," Christensen said. "We have spent 12 years building this program. Now it's time to be competitive at that level. I would like to win conference championships. I want to go to the Frozen Four. I think those ought to be our standards.When asked if that was an ultimatum, Christensen said:
"Mike has shown he can build a good program. But there are builders and there are finishers. It's time to deliver."
"If we don't start meeting that standard, we will sit down and have some serious discussions after this season," Christensen said. "There will be changes. I'm not prepared to say at this moment what that will be. A lot of things go into a season and how it plays out.I don't think I saw anybody brave enough to pick UNO to finish in the top 4 this season, meaning Kemp may have some serious questions to answer at the end of this season.
"Our team lost a lot of talent. But every team loses talent. It's time for our program to play at a high level."