The University of Alberta has put the head coaching job for the Golden Bears hockey squad on the open market. Eric Thurston has been serving as the interim head coach since former head coach Rob Daum went to Houston of the AHL back in 2005. The U of A is now in the process of filling that position on a permanent basis. Thurston was deemed the interim coach and not the head coach because Daum was on a three year leave from the university, but with that time period now past, the university will either remove the interim title from Thurston or find a new head coach. Here's a look at an excerpt from the job listing:
"It is preferred that the successful candidate possesses a university degree; however, equivalencies of education, experience and demonstrated national success will be considered. The successful candidate will have a minimum of NCCP Level III certification or equivalent as well as several years of coaching experience at the CIS level, preferably with a minimum of three (3) years as a CIS Head Coach. Effective communication skills and proven organizational, leadership and management skills are also required. The ability to successfully function as a Head Coach within a multisport environment will also be a consideration."
There are two keys from this section: 1)It is preferred that the successful candidate possesses a university degree and 2)a minimum of three (3) years as a CIS Head Coach. 'Preferred' being the key in the first point, because Thurston himself doesn't possess a university degree, and the second section - requiring 3 years at the CIS level being equally important because Thurston just completed his fourth season as head coach of the Green and Gold.
The job posting is pretty much written directly for Thurston - as it should be. He just won the CIS Coach of the Year award, and has won two national championships in his four seasons. The U of A is required to post the job, but in reality there has never been a doubt as to if Thurston will be the Bears head coach moving forward. He's a first class individual, and has proven that he can take a team to the University Cup and win. Thurston's tag as the 'interim' head coach will surely be replaced simply by head coach in the weeks to come. Thurston will be the Bears bench boss for years to come.