Northern Michigan has hired Minnesota assistant coach Grant Potulny as their third head coach in program history. Potulny reportedly beat out finalists Dave Shyiak and Brian Renfrew for the position.
Potulny’s hire seems like a win-win situation for both parties. The Wildcats get an up-and-coming head coach that was well-respected as an assistant at a major program. For Potulny, he gets valuable head coaching experience to add to his resume, making himself a more viable candidate should the head coaching position at Minnesota ever become available some day.
That said, Potulny will certainly have his work cut out for him in Marquette. The Wildcats finished 48th nationally in offensive production last year, and don’t show many signs for improvement after losing 43% of their scoring due to graduation. The Wildcats incoming recruiting class was also decimated during Northern Michigan’s six-week coaching search, losing three of their top recruits to other schools.
The Wildcats also have virtually no one committed for beyond this season, so Potulny will have a near blank slate to work with. He was an excellent recruiter at the University of Minnesota, but will be in an extremely different situation at Northern Michigan.
Northern Michigan’s hire leaves just two head coaching vacancies needing to be filled at Niagara and the University of Michigan.