New Jersey Devils: 5 College Coaches Who Could Be Head Coach

(Photo by Bill Wippert/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Bill Wippert/NCAA Photos via Getty Images) /
3 of 5
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Rand Pecknold – Quinnipiac University

We really tried to steer clear of these long-term NCAA coaches, but it’s hard to be honest. A lot of the best college coaches have been with their programs for generations. It’s a college thing in general to be honest. Just look at Coach K with Duke University basketball and Bobby Bowden with Florida State football. Coaches don’t always make the jump when they are comfortable in a place.

Ran Pecknold has been with Quinnipiac University since 1994 when they were a Division II program. That’s a lifetime ago. Honestly, most of the people reading this either don’t remember 1994 or probably didn’t even exist then. Taking someone out of their environment like that can be a culture shock, even for someone who’s 53 years old.

That age bracket is the only reason we’re considering Pecknold. He’s been there forever, but he’s still young enough to adjust. If you hire someone in their 60s, it’s usually impossible to get them to adjust to the NHL lifestyle. Pecknold has a couple years when he can make this work.

Quinnipiac has a top 20 scoring margin this season, and Pecknold led his team to the championship game two times this decade. With the university getting a new president, he might at least consider changing career paths. He’s fine, and honestly seems like he has the right demeanor to be an NHL coach. However, there’s a lot that’s unknown, and his expectations were just to compete for so long we don’t know what happens when they ramp up to NHL level.