It has been speculated for a few weeks that Mike Souza would be leaving his post as associate head coach at the University of Connecticut to take the same post at the University of New Hampshire.
However, Hartford Courant scribe Mike Anthony added an interesting twist to the plot Wednesday morning, reporting that Souza would be the head coach in waiting at UNH. It has been speculated that longtime Wildcat bench boss Dick Umile would be retiring after the 2016-17 season.
Sources: UConn hockey associate head coach Mike Souza to be named associate, and head coach in waiting, under Umile at UNH. Souza a UNH alum— Mike Anthony (@ManthonyCourant) June 10, 2015
This certainly makes sense. Souza was a standout forward for UNH from 1996-2000. The Wakefield, Mass. native scored 66 goals and 90 assists for 156 points in as many games played.
After a minor league career that spanned the AHL, ECHL and Europe, Souza landed his first coaching gig as an assistant at Brown under Brendan Whittet. He left the Bears to join Mike Cavanaugh's staff at UConn for the Huskies last season in Atlantic Hockey before moving to Hockey East this past season.
Souza, widely respected in New England hockey circles, will bring credibility, youth and energy to the New Hampshire program. It will also help lessen the pains of an inevitable transition when Umile retires.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.