There was a time last season when the University of Wisconsin had three alums working has head coaches in the college ranks, more than any other school.

Then Mark Osiecki and George Gwozdecky were fired at Ohio State and Denver, respectively, leaving UW coach Mike Eaves as the lone survivor until Steve Rohlik was tabbed to replace Osiecki.

Gwozdecky had an opportunity to get back into the mix this week, but said Friday he's no longer a candidate for the opening at Alabama-Huntsville, which is the only school among the 59 in NCAA Division I looking for a coach.

"The way my career has evolved, it wasn't the right fit,'' Gwozdecky said.

That's not to say the opportunity at the newest Western Collegiate Hockey Association member lacked appeal. He and his wife, Bonnie, flew to Alabama and met with Huntsville athletic director E.J. Brophy this week. The school is looking to replace Kurt Kleinendorst, who resigned last month to pursue opportunities in the pro ranks.

"I was really impressed,'' Gwozdecky said of the school and the city. "It could be a real gem.''

Gwozdecky said the talks never got deep enough that contract negotiations took place, but there were discussions about budgets and facilties.

"The potential is there,'' he said. "It's going to be fun to watch, especially if they get the right guy.''

Gwozdecky, who won a national championship with the Badgers in 1977, was unceremoniously dumped at Denver despite winning consecutive NCAA titles (2004 and '05) and averaging 23 wins a season over 19 years. At issue were contract negotiations that eventually broke down.

Gwozdecky subsequently had interest in openings at Maine and Connecticut, but they went to Yale assistant Red Gendron and Boston College assistant Mike Cavanaugh, respectively.

Gwozdecky said he'd still like to coach, but he's open to other possibilities in college hockey.

One high-profile post is expected to be open after the 2013-14 season when WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod retires. There has been no formal announcement from the league, but according to the minutes of a UW Athletic Board meeting earlier this month, WCHA faculty representative Sheila McGuirk said McLeod had informed league officials of his intentions during postseason discussions in Florida. McGuirk also told the board that Sara Martin would be stepping down as commissioner of the women's WCHA.

Asked specifically if he'd have interest in the job of running the WCHA, Gwozdecky demurred slightly.

"At this point in my career, all doors are open,'' he said.

 

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