The Tech Hockey Guide staff brainstormed potential candidates and settled on our top picks. Through the next few weeks we will break down potential candidates while discussing pedigree as a player and coach as well as likelihood of being Coach Pearson’s replacement. So far, we've discussed seven candidates. Now we'll discuss Dane Jackson, rising star and assistant at the University of North Dakota.
College: North Dakota
Birthplace: Castlegar, British Columbia
Current Position: Associate Head Coach, North Dakota (NCHC)
Jackson spent his NCAA years at the University of North Dakota from 1988-1992 and amassed 103 points (59G, 44A) in his four years in Grand Forks. Jackson earned the Alternate "A" his senior year and played with now-former UND head coach Dave Hakstol. He spent 11 seasons bouncing between the AHL and NHL, playing in 45 career NHL games. In the 2006-2007 season, he joined his former teammate Hakstol behind the bench in Grand Forks and had been in that assistant role until Hakstol left. Jackson now holds the Associate Head Coach role at UND.
Winning leads to winning, and Jackson has a history of winning. In his time in Grand Forks, UND has boasted a 290-134-4 record (a 67.8 win %), two Broadmoor Trophies in the former WCHA, and—most importantly—the 2016 NCAA National Championship Title. The list of players that he helped develop during his time in Grand Forks is both impressive and extensive. UND has arguably been the best recruiting location in the nation in his tenure. The list of players Jackson has worked with at UND includes:
- T.J Oshie
- Brock Nelson
- Ryan Duncan
- Matt Frattin
- Danny Kristo
- Jonathan Toews
- Drake Caggiula
- Brock Boesser
- Chris VandeVelde
- Corban Knight
Jackson may be looking to gain NCAA head coaching experience to add to his resume. Current UND head coach Brad Berry previously left the UND organization for six months to take coaching jobs in the AHL and NHL. Jackson, with proven success as a head coach in the NCAA, would be a shoe-in to replace Berry. The opening at MTU would be an excellent opportunity for Jackson to take the reigns of an already winning team continue to build on his history of winning.
Jackson is one of the few candidates with no connection to MTU. Therefore he is on the list of candidates who are potentially only looking for head coaching experience to give them the edge on a future. There would be no doubt that Jackson would be looking to return to UND as a head coach when Berry leaves. Michigan Tech may not be looking to live under the shadow of a larger program again.
Jackson has the pedigree and history of winning at UND that Michigan Tech is looking for in a high profile candidate. If Jackson wants to continue to climb the UND ladder he will need to prove he can win as a head coach. Tech would be an excellent position for him to do that, however MTU may be looking for someone who will be likely to stay on longer term.
Feature image courtesy of Shawn Noel Photography