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. Yesterday afternoon, we profiled Mark Osiecki of Wisconsin. Now, we'll take a look at Todd Knott, current assistant coach at the Minnesota State.
Knott (pronounced ‘cuh-NOT’) played college hockey for Bemidji State during their first 3 seasons as a Division I team in the CHA from 1999 through 2002. During the first two seasons, Knott played under local legend Bob Peters before the Beaver's current coach, Tom Serratore, took over prior to Knott's senior year.
College: Bemidji State
Birthplace: Red Lake Falls, Minnesota
Recent Position: Assistant Coach, Minnesota State
After graduation from Bemidji State, Knott began coaching at the age of 24. His first job was as assistant coach of the Fargo-Moorhead Jets (NAHL) in the team's inaugural season (2003-04). The follow year, Knott was named head coach of the Jets and lead them to their best record in franchise history (36-17-3). After that success, Knott moved on to become an assistant coach with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) under Regg Simon. That first season with Des Moines, Knott was part of a East Division title and eventually a Clark Cup Championship in 2006. Todd Knott remained with the Buccaneers through the 2007-08 season when he was named interim head coach after Simon was removed mid-season. Knott did not get the job after that season, but he did move to another USHL team as Head Coach/General Manager.
This time in 2008-09, Knott was in charge of the Sioux City Musketeers. The Musketeers finished in fifth place, 6 points out of the final playoff spot in Knott's only year as Head Coach/GM. In 2009, Todd Knott found his current role as assistant coach for Minnesota State under then coach Troy Juttings, and he managed to retain his position when Mike Hastings was hired in 2012.
During his time at Minnesota State, Knott helped recruit players some quality players that helped many players, and his fourth year as assistant coach was the final year of the WCHA prior to the formation of the Big Ten Conference and all the reshuffling. That year, Minnesota State finished fifth in the conference and included all players that joined the team during Knott's tenure. The top recruits during that stretch include:
- Matt Leitner
- Zach Palmquist
- Casey Nelson
- Teddy Blueger
- Stephon Williams
- Zach Stepan
Minnesota State has had a ton of success under Mike Hastings and Todd Knott is a big part of that, helping recruit and develop that talent along side Coach Hastings. Along with Bowling Green and Michigan Tech, the Mavericks are the class of the WCHA in it's current form.
Knott knows how to recruit to a program of similar status in the college hockey world and has familiarity with Houghton and the school from playing them regularly over the last eight seasons with Minnesota State. During that time, the Mavericks compiled a record of 164-124-29 including 4 straight 20+ win seasons. Knott has learned from one of the best coaches in the WCHA and should be able to transfer that to success at another program that is willing to support it's hockey team like Michigan Tech has shown over the last 6 seasons.
Knott was hired by Troy Jutting and didn't immediately improve their situation. Most of that success could be based on Mike Hastings' arrival. His lack of commitment to any one program until his current roll could be a sign of issues or other concerns when he was actually given chances to be "The Boss."
Knott applied for an assistant coach opening at Michigan Tech back in 2006. While that opening ultimately went to Chris Tok, that fact makes it seem likely that Knott is interested in this position and more than willing to relocate to Houghton to become the Huskies' head coach. While Knott does seem like one of the most likely applicants among coaches that have no ties to MTU, it's hard to say whether or not his track record is what Michigan Tech is looking for in their next head coach.
Feature image courtesy of Minnesota State Athletics