Season 4 Episode 21 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Tervetuloa. This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Michigan Tech Athletic Director Dr. Suzanne Sanregret. In this episode they discussed Suzanne watching her nephews play for Tech, listener questions, Winter Carnival weekend, recruiting in Europe, the atmosphere at Michigan Tech hockey games and upcoming Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) plans.
A family affair
Tim started off the conversation by asking Suzanne about her experience getting to watch her nephews play for Tech this season. Suzanne talked about the process leading up to the Kukkonens getting to Tech and how she encouraged them to pick a school that had strong academics. One listener asked if she had noticed any negative assumptions or reactions due to possible favoritism. Suzanne pointed out the gameplay stats and said that they speak for themselves to why Kyle Kukkonen is getting the playtime he is. The group then discussed the scholarship advantages to the hockey program when children of alumni come to play at Tech.
There were a couple listener questions this week. THG’s own Jon Zamaites asked about the possibility of Michigan Tech adding a Division One women’s hockey team. Suzanne rebutted by talking about the budget limitations of adding hockey compared to other sports which are less of a financial burden. The group talked about the potential for other Michigan based Universities to add women’s hockey prior to Michigan Tech.
Marvin Wilson asked about allowing high school students into the MacInnes alongside Tech’s students. Suzanne was not keen on that idea.
Coaching and recruiting
Having Suzanne on the show allowed the guys to dive deeper into more of the details on coaching hires and recruiting. Tim asked if Tech was ready to handle the increase in paid hockey coaching staff in the future and Suzanne said they will have the budget for it and that she and head coach Joe Shawhan are still discussing what that position will look like.
Staying in the coaching lane, Tim also asked if Joe had control over replacing his previous assistants. Suzanne talked about her philosophy for all the head coaches in Michigan Tech athletics which is that they live and die by the assistants they hire. She said she does meet with the candidates before their hired to look for any potential issues on her end. Suzanne gave kudos to Joe and his the assistants he’s hired and thought everybody fit in well with the Michigan Tech program.
Transitioning to recruiting, Tim asked about the recruiting budget Tech has for going to watch players in Europe. Suzanne talked about having a robust recruiting budget in place and also how her charge to the coaches is to get the best players they can get. Tim like hearing that the coaches have the backing. The group then talked about how the Scandinavian heritage of the Keweenaw helps to make European recruits feel comfortable attending Tech. They also talked about the atmosphere during hockey games at the Mac and how it compares to other arenas that Tim and Suzanne have been to.
As a nice little wrap up to this discussion, Matt asked Suzanne about what makes her feel lucky to be at Tech. Suzanne’s answer was the people. She talked about having the opportunities to go elsewhere but loves the student athletes, the Copper Country community and the alumni base too much to leave. She also talked about her love of having an impact on the students’ futures after college.
Future GLI and other tournament plans
Tim asked Suzanne if there were any long term plans with the GLI or other possible tournaments. Suzanne talked about a long term contract with Van Andel arena being in the works and also finalizing the teams for 2023-2026. The group then discussed whether the invited teams to the GLI will continue to be of local flavor or if there is a push to get more nationwide teams involved.
Dustin reads a review and shares a graph
The podcast received another five star review which meant that Dustin had the opportunity to read it on the air. Dustin also lead a discussion on the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) average compared to Pairwise ranking and what it means for the remainder of the season and which teams will get into the NCAA Tournament or not. The guys talked about Alaska Fairbanks having a shot to make the tournament and other teams that can play the spoiler role to higher ranked teams. He referenced the chart below during the discussion.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 34 minutes long. There was a discussion on Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deals at Michigan Tech. There was extended discussion on the FloSports broadcast and upgrades that will be coming in the future to Michigan Tech’s broadcast. The guys compared MLB’s new ghost runner rule to 3v3 overtime hockey. There was a brief discussion on this week’s Joe Shawhan Hour. The guys took a deep dive into some more obscure sports around the world.
For additional information and more episode liner notes, check out our episode overview on Tech Hockey Guide. To make sure we can afford all our fancy equipment we purchased for the podcast and the THG website in general, please check out our Patreon page and consider joining. Patrons at our Black Level or above receive an authentic MTU jersey patch and access to extra podcast content including extended versions of our other episodes. This week’s extended version is about 101 minutes.
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Follow us on twitter at ChasingMacPod. Join our Discord server for discussions covering Michigan Tech hockey and more. You can submit questions through our email address, ChasingMac@techhockeyguide.com. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate and review to help us reach more people, and tell your friends. Please check out Jonathan Zamaites’ series previews every Friday and Mike Anleitner’s Old Dog in Texas column every Wednesday and Zach Aufdemberge’s Analytics With Augie. Also, keep an eye out for new recruiting articles that Tim Braun writes occasionally. As always, special thanks to our patron saint Doc McResin for his generous donation to get this thing running, we hope you enjoy. Also, thanks to The Thank You Notes for all the bumpers in today’s episode. If you like what you hear, check them out at thethankyounotes.bandcamp.com.