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College Hockey News: “Nothing to suggest the job was Cavanaugh’s to turn down”

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Boston College v Connecticut Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

There was a bit of a minor social media brouhaha this morning when a UConn beat writer suggested that the BC job was Mike Cavanaugh’s to turn down, but that he ultimately decided to stick with UConn - leading some to wonder if BC had let its top coaching target slip away to a program that has yet to qualify for an NCAA tournament.

This certainly contradicts what we’ve heard from various people with knowledge of the process, who suggest that Cavanaugh was indeed a very strong candidate for the job with mutual interest from BC, but was not the clear #1 candidate and not close to being offered the job; in fact, BC is just beginning its process.

The latest roundup of coaching carousel news from College Hockey News’s Adam Wodon says the same:

Mike Cavanaugh put out a statement early Thursday that proclaimed his commitment to stay at Connecticut. I’ve seen various random people on social media suggest this means he “turned down Boston College.” While Cavanaugh definitely interviewed at BC, there’s nothing I’ve found to suggest the job was his to turn down. Maybe BC wanted him, maybe they didn’t. But nobody knows that for sure at this point, probably including BC. The BC administration has been interviewing multiple candidates.

Either Cavanaugh knew BC was headed elsewhere, so “pulled himself out of the running”; or UConn stepped up with a raise that was enough for him to remove himself from consideration.

Wodon went on to say that Greg Brown remains at the top of a shortlist, and that JD Forrest, head coach at AHL Wilkes-Barre, is also a candidate. He also reported that BC “has reached out to other prominent coaches to gauge their interest” as part of a due diligence process. He didn’t name names of who those prominent current head coaches are, but it’s probably fair to guess that list would include the ones we’ve discussed - Leaman, Carvel, Bazin, Hastings, etc.

This comes on the heels of Mike McMahon also suggesting that Greg Brown had emerged as the favorite as of yesterday, and other reports suggesting that BC was in the process of putting together a committee to help with the coaching search that would kick off in earnest at this week’s college hockey coaches convention in Naples, Florida.

Now whether you agree or disagree with BC not putting Cavanaugh at the clear top of their target list, it seems pretty clear from everywhere other than Huskyworld that while there was mutual interest for sure, no offer to Cav was on the table. He may well have parlayed uncertain interest from BC into a surefire raise from UConn - and if so, good for him.