Furstenau resigns after one season
The Yellowstone Quake are searching for a new head coach following the resignation last week of Craig Furstenau. Furstenau resigned shortly after the Quake were swept by Helena in the first round of the playoffs.
Quake team president Bob Bole said Furstenau offered no reason for his decision. Furstenau did not return a phone message left seeking comment.
“There were definitely some headaches this season,” Bole said. “I think that wore him down some and at times had him feeling like he was beating his head against a brick wall.”
Bole termed Furstenau’s leadership of the team as “acceptable” and indicated he had returned to Michigan, where he had lived prior to coming to Cody. Despite being hired late last summer, Furstenau managed to assemble a team that won 24 games. Three of those victories were later overturned when it was discovered a goaltender was playing for the team under an assumed identity and in violation of Northern Pacific League age rules.
A league investigation of the incident determined that Furstenau and the Yellowstone Quake were not at fault.
This marks the third year the Quake are in search of a new head coach.
“Two of them left here and moved up to higher levels,” Bole said. “That’s part of what we’re here for as an organization and as a league. It’s just like moving players up.”
Bole foresees no difficulties in filling the vacant coaching position. In fact, inquiries and applications are already pouring in. Within 24 hours of posting the vacancy on the Internet, team officials had already received 30 applications for the position.
“It hasn’t even hit all the places we’re advertising yet,” Bole said of the job vacancy notice. “It’s a pretty close-knit community in hockey. When there’s an opening, word gets around in a hurry.”
Last summer’s search that resulted in the hiring of Furstenau produced a total of 72 applicants. Bole said he “can’t imagine” the team would receive fewer than 100 this time around.
“Last year’s search came pretty late and produced 72 applications,” Bole said. “I thought that was pretty unbelievable.”
The team has set up a committee to pare the pool of applicants down to a manageable number. From there, the organization will conduct a round of phone interviews before bringing the finalists to Cody for in-person interviews. While no specific date has been set for a final decision, Bole said he’s hopeful the Quake will have a new coach on board within a month.
“We’d like to get him in here so that we can adequately get out and get on the recruiting trail and get players for next year,” Bole said. “That’s one of the first things when we have a new guy on board that we’ll have to sit and look at.”
The Quake had scheduled tryout camps in Michigan, California and Cody for the upcoming summer months. Bole said that, with a new head coach, there’s a “90 or 95 percent chance” those events will either be rescheduled or moved.
“We might use the same venues, but the dates might change,” Bole said. “It just depends on who we bring in and what direction they want to take.”