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Paluch’s tenure as hockey coach bittersweet

Last week, while attending the press conference announcing Scott Paluch’s resignation as head coach of the hockey program, I had to contain my mixed feelings.

It was a professional setting, and factoring in my position as sports editor of the newspaper, I had to remain objective. But on the inside I couldn’t help but be pretty excited.

I have no problem with Paluch personally. I know he is a classy family man and has a solid reputation in the community. I just have issues with his coaching.

In his seven years as coach, Paluch finished with a record of 84-156-23, or roughly one win to every two losses.

There are only a handful of coaches with a similar or worse resume who have headed one of the 58 Division I hockey teams for the same amount of time.

It was simply time for a change.

Perhaps a hidden blessing is that the University is probably saving money not having to pay out the last year of Paluch’s contract. I seriously doubt new coach Dennis Williams, who at 29 is only four years older than me, will have the same salary as Paluch.

Paluch said the uncertainty of the program had no baring on his decision to resign.

He was entering the final year of his contract, which is ironic considering the team’s contract might expire as well, due to no surprise, money.

Despite my differences with Paluch as a coach, I wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor with USA Hockey.

I am a hockey fan in every regard and seeing the improvement in the country’s developmental process would benefit everyone in the hockey world.

This whole hockey regression dates back to the mid-90s.

I do not believe the majority of people know that Paluch did not do much worse than his predecessor, Buddy Powers.

Again, I have no problem with Powers. I think he has done a decent job of maintaining responsibilities surrounding Ice Arena operations, especially under recent circumstances.

I also wrote this column as an opportunity to apologize to anyone I offended with my actions during the last home hockey game this past spring. However, I do not regret what I did.

I held a sign at the end of the game that was controversial to say the least.

While what I did was not against the law, it clearly casts a pessimistic attitude.

People should realize that given the circumstances, having angry yet loyal fans like myself criticize the situation comes with the territory [job performance.]

As a townie, I have been through a lot centering on Falcon Hockey, therefore I feel I have above average knowledge of the issues.

I graduated high school and started college the same year Paluch took over at the University.

Congrats Pooch, you found a way to get out of here before I could, ha.

What I think people fail to realize is that much like every other sport, our hockey program is considered mid-major.

Yes, we won a National Championship, but that was 25 years ago when there were not as many Division I teams that put necessary resources into establishing a winning tradition.

We must understand that to begin with, we are not supposed to be this dominant program. But at the same time we should do better than finishing last in the conference three out of the last four seasons.

To high school and junior players, Bowling Green doesn’t compete with the Boston’s, Wisconsin’s and Michigan’s. Thus, the talent we do sign is not of higher caliber.

For most players, becoming a Falcon is not their first choice. But maybe they come here to get a scholarship and immediate playing time.

Now, in saying all of this, I am not trying to demean the University, the hockey team or any of it’s hockey players, past, present or future.

I have acquainted myself with several of the players over the years and have made it clear that I am thankful that they chose to play in my hometown.

I am also not taking advantage of my position with the newspaper to convey a cynical point of view.

My ultimate goal is to educate and entertain newsworthy points of view regarding BGSU hockey.

Paluch’s tenure at the University was for the most part mediocre, however it was not a totally disaster. We did earn the right to host a home playoff series in 2005 and 2008, the latter of which will stand out as a top five sports moment in my life.

I will never forget the 2007-2008 season. Coming off back-to-back seasons in the CCHA cellar, the team won an exciting overtime playoff elimination game over Lake Superior State in overtime.

Nor will I forget jamming to ‘Rock Star’ with a hockey stick guitar at after hours; you know who you are.

Good riddance to Paluch, good luck to Williams and good day to all you readers.

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