Rumor: Mel Pearson to Michigan Tech

Submitted by DoubleMs on April 17th, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Rumors have been floating down from my home town of Houghton that Michigan Assistant Coach Mel Pearson is going to be announced as Michigan Tech's new Head Coach sometime this week. Separately, students and Blue Line club members (alumni) have mentioned it to me. I'd say it's a fairly substantiated rumor... Anyone able to judge what the ramifications to our program would be? 

Update: It's now circulating that Mel turned MTU down. Unsure if they are going to up the ante. Staying tuned.



April 17th, 2011 at 5:07 PM ^

When Red signed the three year extension, people I know close to Pearson told me that DB was planning on an outside hire for Red's successor. This was surprising, because conventional wisdom was that Pearson was next in line.

To me, this doesn't seem far fetched at all. It also makes me wonder what DB has up his sleeve once Red retires in a couple years.


April 18th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^



April 19th, 2011 at 4:02 AM ^

I can understand the confusion, but I don't think your post was neg-worthy. It was all caps, almost, to make fun of people who use all caps. That probably makes your second post that much more hilarious, because that's all caps to make fun of people who didn't understand the all caps joke.


April 17th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

Outside hire to replace Red?  I guess, but I don't see anyone significantly more qualified than Pearson in the college ranks who would likely be available. 


April 17th, 2011 at 5:43 PM ^

Wait, so why can't we re-hire Pearson as the head coach in a couple years when Red retires?

That would technically qualify as an "outside" hire at that point.

I definitely want Pearson to be the next Michigan coach, but I also can't blame him for not waiting around for ever. 

That being said, him going to Tech for a few years won't prevent him from coming back home at some point.

Just my opinion. 

Hardware Sushi

April 17th, 2011 at 11:03 PM ^

Three years from now, Pearson will have head coaching experience and still the plethora of years he put in at Michigan. I'm sure he'd be interested to see what DB had to say and take a look at our checkbook if we wanted to hire him.

If DB has something else up his sleeve, then I'm surprised because Pearson has long seemed like the next for the job. Either way, it's a very attractive job for almost any collegiate coach, save for a few other prime jobs like BC, ND(akota), Wiscy, Minny and the like.


April 17th, 2011 at 8:34 PM ^

Also, just to throw a name out there to replace Red that has been discussed by hockey alums and by the candidate himself (albeit this has nothing to do with him actually wanting the job at all). 

His name is Mike Babcock. Yes, the Red Wings head coach. He is very good friends with Red, actually was a member on Reds annual canoeing trip in Canada. 

I doubt he becomes the next coach, but if he does, remember I was the first one to talk about it on this blog. 


April 17th, 2011 at 10:25 PM ^

To me, Babcock is more far fetched than Gruden.  The Gruden theory would be that he's a coach who had been killing time in the booth until the next coaching gig.  Michigan had been a desirable job for him at some point, so I get that.

Babcock would be leaving a high profile pro job with arguably the best run team in the league to coach college?  Considering the gap in popularity between college and NHL, this just sounds nuts to me.

Hardware Sushi

April 17th, 2011 at 11:07 PM ^

I believed your statement about Peason turning down the job until you threw out Mike Babcock.

If you're right about Babcock in a few years, I'll create an MGoBoard post strictly honoring your supreme prophetic abilities. Until then, I don't really believe you that much (although Babcock has experience at the collegiate level in Canada eh).


April 17th, 2011 at 6:04 PM ^

I don't think the ramifications would be huge.  I don't mean to disrespect Pearson as he has been a big part of the program's success, however Red will have his pick of the litter for a new assistant and will get a quality replacement.  Heck, probably every Michigan hockey alumni currently involved in coaching will apply for the job (I think when the Daily talked to Bill Muckalt recently he expressed his interest in returning to A2 as a coach...he's currently head coach of New Mexico's NAHL junior team).  Biggest thing will probably be getting them involved in the local recruiting circuit, but they've got a few years to work on that as Michigan has already done a great job stocking up their 2012 and 2013 classes.

As for looking further down the line, there's no guarantee that whenever Red retires Mel will be handed the head coaching job anyway, as much as fans think he will be.  Michigan Tech is also Pearson's alma mater and where he was an assistant coach for several years in the 80s before joining U-M and they've tried in the past to lure him back to Houghton.  I think if he goes there they expect him to be there long term to turn around the program, not be there 2-3 years waiting for Red to retire.  If that's the case, there's no point in him leaving Ann Arbor. and it wouldn't really be fair to the Tech fans and program, either.


April 17th, 2011 at 7:06 PM ^

which despite all the Tech rumors, which are rampant, I'm still not sold on, it'll be a big loss, but not unrecoverable.  Mel is a great coach (obviously) and has been here forever, but I'm sure Red can find somebody somewhere that will also be great coaching-wise, in the same area's Mel specialized in.  The newcomer might not be quite as good as Mel, but probably still pretty darn good.  I'd be more worried about players.  Cammy said that Mel and Billy were the two best recruiters in college hockey and judging by some of the players Michigan has gotten while he was here, it's hard to say that Cammy's far wrong.  I think if Mel leaves, some of the current players might be more tempted to turn pro, some of the committed recruits for 2012-13 might back off and farther down the line, future recruits might not be as interested.  Perhaps we get somebody just as good, but in my opinion, as good a coach as he is, it would be his recruiting that would be harder to replace.  We'd still have Billy and Red, but that would still worry me a bit.

As for Michigan's future head coach, there's no guarantee that it wouldn't still be Mel.  If he did well at Tech, that would only improve his resume.  I'm not sure that he would still want to be Michigan's coach, if he was already coaching at Tech, which is his alma mater, but it wouldn't disqualify him from trying.  And even if it still isn't him, there are other coaches.  Billy Powers is a pretty dang good coach himself and there are good coaches in other places.  Appert, Dennehy, Blashill, heck Michigan might be able to get Scott Sandelin, who just beat Michigan in the national title game.  And then there are college assistants, NHL people, junior leagues... I'm not sure I'd love Danton Cole, especially at this point in his career, but Ron Rolston's name has been thrown arond (though, he's the Gruden of college hockey, everytime there's an opening there's a rumor he's a candidate...)  But regardless, Michigan will be attractive to most people.  I would LOVE for Mel to be the next coach, but if he's not, it's not the end of the world.


April 17th, 2011 at 7:44 PM ^

Why does no one talk about Billy Powers? He's been on staff almost as long as Mel has and would seem like a good option / fit as well - unless I am missing something. I agree about a couple of things:

1) Mel going to MTU (if true) does not rule him out of the UM job in a few years

2) Red will stay for the 1st Year of the Big Ten - he wants to win the first Big Ten Title in a long time at UM.

Also I think Mel and Billy coach and recruit a lot more than some think. Red continued to give Mel the credit for the Penalty kill last weekend in St. Paul.

In all - are we ready for The Process II?


Go Blue!



April 18th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

This is the perfect opportunity for Mel to do for Tech what Red did for Michigan. I wouldn't be surprised either way, given that it's probably the most difficult career decision he's ever had to make. If there's an early out option in that contract for the Michigan job, he's gone. But how likely is it that Tech offers that? Not likely at all.

With that said, I obviously hope he stays. What Mel and Billy bring to this program are vastly underrated.