Daum Ready for a New Challenge
By Michael McHugh
Sports Edition/Houston Community Newspapers/Aeros Jr. Reporter
Theres a new guy in town.
His name is Rob Daum and hes here to make a difference.
Daum, one of the most successful head coaches in the history of Canadian college hockey, left the University of Alberta Golden Bears after 10 years to replace former Aeros coach Todd McLellan, who took a position with the Detroit Red Wings.
While at Alberta, Daum coached his team to three national titles and was named CIS Coach of the Year twice and Canada West Coach of the Year five times. Under his guidance, Alberta qualified for the playoffs in each of his 10 seasons. He played two-plus seasons for the Golden bears from 1979-1982 and one season of college hockey with the Camrose Lutheran College. He was the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Rookie of the year. His resume is impressive and the Minnesota organization believes hes the man to guide the Aeros to Calder Cup victory once again.
Now, he can add one more line to his resume hes become a Texan.
In just a few short weeks, hes already gotten a taste of what its like coaching hockey in the south.
If the hot Houston days werent enough, there was that pesky hurricane named Rita that sent he and his family scrambling to Austin shortly after arriving here. And did I mention its hotter here than in Canada? I think he figured that one out already.
The move has been hard on his family, and they have struggled with the adjustment from Canada to Houston. Its been particularly hard on Evan, his 15-year-old son, and twin daughters Carly and Lauren who are 13. Coming to a new school and not knowing anybody was really difficult, but since they have moved out of the hotel and into their new home, things are getting easier.
Daum is excited about the opportunity to coach the Aeros and felt the Minnesota organization was a good fit. Hes ready for the challenge and eager to see what his new team can do and looking forward to a great season.
What is going to be the biggest task with this team?
Pretty much everything. We have a lot of new players so there is not a lot of familiarity with the team itself, and we have some European players that are coming over for the first time so not only is it their first taste of pro hockey, its their first taste of American culture. There are going to be a lot of challenges with this team. Its young, its inexperienced but we will have to try and progress day by day.
Describe a typical day as a coach.
A typical day? Oh gosh, I dont know if there is a typical day as a coach! I get up early, and what I like to do is have a quick workout in the morning. Its really important for me personally to do that. Then, I come to the rink and work on practice, talk to players on whatever they might need to talk about, and after practice administrative things that have to go on. Then, normally Ill plan practice for the next day and get prepared and handle any things that come across your desk that youre not aware of.
What was it like being coach of the year multiple times?
Well thats just a reflection on the type of players Ive had the good fortune to work with and organizations Ive been with and quality assistant coaches and quality players. Any time you get an honor bestowed upon you like that its more of a reflection on the entire organization rather than just one person.
What do you feel is your greatest strength as a coach?
I think Im a good teacher. I like to be prepared, and I am a student of the game so I believe those are sort of my strengths.
What do you think of your team so far?
Well, so far its been too early to tell. The two (pre-season) games against San Antonio were good for us, to get the wins, but well get a much better idea of what type of team we have when we get into the regular season, and that will be the true test for us.
What would your dream job be?
To coach in the National Hockey League. That would be my dream job and winning the Stanley Cup in the process.
Whats the best and worst part of your job?
I love coaching, so coming to work everyday is the best part of my job. The worst part of it is when bad things happen to your team, be it personal things, or if the players dont conduct themselves properly or if they have problems in their family. Youre very attached to the players and when those types of things happen, thats the worst part.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be more outgoing, more gregarious, and easier to get to know. I am not an easy person to get to know. Im reserved and quiet and so I would open myself up a little bit more so that people would get to know me quicker and hopefully they would like what they find.
Do you have a fondest memory from your hockey days?
You know what? Theyre too numerous to mention. Ive been fortunate to have so many great moments, and met so many great people. To single out one or two or three would be very, very difficult. Im just glad that I am able to do what I do. Hopefully I can continue to do it.
Do you have any hobbies?
I dont really have any hobbies. I love sports and I really enjoy going golfing with my son or taking he and my daughters to sporting events when I get the opportunity to do that. Or, watching them play hockey and soccer, and basketball when Im not working.
What are your thoughts on the shootout?
I am not a big fan of the shootout. I dont like a team game decided by that type of event. I think its great for the fans, so from an entertainment perspective its terrific, but from the purity of the game I dont like a game being decided that way.
---HOUSTON AEROS, BE A FAN---