Greg May served two years as the director of operations for coach Bob Motzko and the Gophers hockey team. Motzko's crew takes on defending champion Massachusetts at 5 p.m. Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division I tournament in Worcester, Mass.
May won't be there. He will be coaching Augsburg in the Division III men's Frozen Four vs. No. 1-ranked Adrian (Mich.). The site will be the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., and the puck will drop three hours before the Gophers, at 2 p.m.
May resigned as the Gophers' ops director last spring to become the athletic director at St. Thomas Academy. We don't have the specifics, but put it this way: a job in college hockey ops is based on love of sport, not money.
The Academy made the announcement of May's hiring on May 25. In late August, Chris Brown resigned after a strong 15-season run as Augsburg's men's hockey coach to become an assistant at Alaska Fairbanks.
Which was followed by May leaving as a short-termer at the Academy to replaced Brown at Augsburg. It was the lure of the alma mater for May, a four-year Auggie player and a 2007 graduate.
The roster was strong and May, in his first season, was able to get the Auggies back to a men's Frozen Four for the first time since 1998. The greatest obstacle to getting there had been St. Norbert.
Brown and the Auggies had won the MIAC playoffs to reach the NCAA tournament in the four seasons from 2016 to 2019. Each of those seasons ended with a playoff loss to St. Norbert.
Last Saturday, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Augsburg's sold-out arena, St. Norbert's dominance was put to rest with a 4-1 victory.
"Our players knew, we all knew, that at some point we'd have to go through St. Norbert's,'' May said.
A Division III champion will be crowned this weekend for the first time since 2019. COVID wiped away the 2020 tournament and caused a five-game mini-season in the winter of 2021.
Augsburg lost 5-2 to Adrian when the teams played in Michigan on Dec. 30. The other semifinalists are SUNY Geneseo and the University of New England.
• May has been named one of 12 finalists for the American Hockey Coaches Association's national coach of the year and two of his players, Austin Martinsen and Mason Palmer, made the AHCA's Division III All-America team.