A familiar face will be behind the players bench at University of Nebraska-Omaha hockey games.
Vice Chancellor of Athletics, Trev Alberts, announced Wednesday that they have appointed Mike Gabinet as head coach of the program.
Gabinet replaces outgoing head coach Dean Blais, who announced last month that he would be stepping down after eight years at the helm of the program.
He becomes the third head coach of UNO's hockey program after Mike Kemp and Blais.
Gabinet's name may sound familiar to fans in Omaha. He spent his college career at UNO as a Maverick, playing defense from 2000-20004 under Kemp.
He returned to his Alma Mater in April of 2016 as Blais' associate head coach after coaching at a college in his native Canada.
Alberts said Gabinet will be a natural fit as head coach. “We undertook an extensive search, and Mike rose to the top of our candidate pool because of his detailed, comprehensive approach to creating a sustainable culture of excellence. He has the passion and understanding of what it means to be a Maverick, and he has the ability to institute the kind of structure and attention to detail that will allow us to be successful in college hockey’s toughest conference."
Gabinet said he looks forward to building his future at UNO. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to be the head coach of my Alma Mater and excited to build on what’s been established here by Mike Kemp and Dean Blais. I came to Omaha last year because of my passion for this program and the great experience I had here as a student-athlete. That’s one of the reasons why my wife and I are looking forward to raising our family here."
Before becoming a coach in 2012 Gabinet was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and played professionally in the American Hockey League, ECHL and in Europe.