Former Wildcat hockey head coach Sean Hogan had turned Arizona back into the postseason team it once was, but ultimately couldn’t refuse the offer received from another elite ACHA Division I program.
On May 30, Hogan resigned from his position at the UA to take over as the next head coach of the Ohio Bobcat hockey team.
He said the two main reasons for leaving Arizona were to be closer to his family in Michigan and the opportunity to coach at a university with an ice rink on campus.
Hogan said it was still tough to leave Tucson because of the relationships he developed at the UA.
“The staff, everybody who works at the Campus Rec, all the players on the team, all the fans,” Hogan said. “[It will be] the people that I’ll miss the most for sure.”
Hogan noted the people he worked with at the Student Recreation Center knew that he was in talks with other schools for a hockey head-coaching job.
However, his players learned the news via email a day before his resignation was announced on the Wildcat hockey website.
Junior Shane Gleason, team captain, said Hogan tried calling him a few days before he told the rest of the team. However, Gleason was in Germany for an internship and couldn’t take the call at the time, so he found out through the email as well.
“I think there’s one or two people he may have let know a couple days before it was going to happen,” Gleason said. “I was really shocked and sad to see him go, but he’s got a good opportunity in Ohio and I’m sure he’ll do great there.”
Gleason also added he doesn’t feel betrayed by Hogan and that he feels his intentions were always good. Hogan and the rest of the Wildcats selected Gleason as their captain in early April.
“He was still recruiting and doing everyday activities that the [head] coach would have been doing,” Gleason said, “and I think at the end of the day he got an offer he couldn’t refuse, so I feel more shell-shocked than betrayed.”
Still, some of Hogan’s former players at Arizona were disappointed in their head coach leaving. Freshman forward Alex O’Dea said some of the players on the team were unhappy with how late they were relayed the news.
“I think some of us do [feel betrayed] a little bit just because it did come out of absolutely nowhere for all the guys,” O’Dea said. “But Ohio is a good program and I definitely wish him the best of luck out there.”
Hogan became the second-ever head coach of Arizona hockey in 2011, when he took over for Leo Golembiewski during the “Icecats” transition.
Hogan said that whoever takes over Arizona next year will inherit the 2014 recruits who have already committed to the program, and that he doesn’t expect any of them to walk away.
“The schedule was done, recruiting was done and I’ve talked to the recruits,” Hogan said. “Arizona’s set up for success for sure; I didn’t want to leave them in a lurch or anything.”
The Wildcats will open up the 2014-15 campaign on Sept. 27 at NAU.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo