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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Fighting Irish host Michigan in a CCHA clash on CSTV Friday, November 4.



Jeff Jackson


Jeff Jackson returns to the collegiate ranks this season for the first time since leaving Lake Superior State following the 1995-96 campaign. In his six years with the Lakers, Jackson's teams won two NCAA titles in 1992 and 1994, two CCHA regular-season championships and four CCHA playoff trophies. His 1992-93 team also advanced to the NCAA championship game.

A 1978 graduate of Michigan State, Jackson got his start in college hockey as an assistant coach at Lake Superior State in 1986 where he served four years under Frank Anzalone, helping guide the Lakers to the 1988 NCAA title. Following the 1989-90 season, Jackson took over as the head coach of the Lakers for six seasons. In 1996, he was named the national coach and senior director of the newly founded U.S. National Team Development program, where he served as the head coach for the United States Junior National Team that captured the silver medal at the 1997 World Junior Championships. The following year, Jackson served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

In 2000, Jackson left the U.S. program and took over as coach of the Ontario Hockey League's (OHL) Guelph Storm, then moved on to the NHL's New York Islanders where he served as an assistant from 2003-05. In May of 2003, Inside College Hockey, ranked Jackson 12th on its list of the 16 Greatest College Coaches of all-time.


** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Jeff won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 1st, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome to another edition of Tuesday @ The Rink. We aren't wasting any time today, as we are joined by Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
Coach Jackson: Hi, everyone. I am excited to be here and am ready to take your questions.

Kenny (Columbus): How do you think your team speed will match up against other teams in the CCHA such as OSU, Michigan, and UAF?
Coach Jackson: The key word is "team" speed. Individually, I'm not sure we can keep up with some of the faster teams in the league. But collectively, if we move the puck and control the puck, we can keep up with the other teams. We have to use support and stretch the ice out to control the puck so we don't have to chase and play defense, which I've seen early signs of at times this season.

Peter (Chicago): What are the chances that ND will build a new facility for Hockey?
Coach Jackson: The university, prior to when I was hired, made a $15 million commitment to renovate the Joyce Center. Former Coach Dave Poulin is working very hard to raise funds from the development office to accelerate that renovation. At the same time, I've met with both our Board of Trustees and our Executive Vice President at their request to discuss the hockey program and the potential at this time for a stand alone facility. The renovation of the Joyce Center is part of a much bigger project to renovate both sides and also enhance the basketball stadium. The renovation will be enough if there is a wall built to separate the facility from the rest of the fieldhouse. It is my hope that process will begin in the next three years. The university and the Athletic Department have a complete commitment to the growth of the hockey program.

Alex (South Bend): Having the former head coach still on campus seems like it could be an uncomfortable situation. How has your relationship with Coach Poulin been?
Coach Jackson: I made arrangements to meet with Dave early in the process to discuss his feeling comfortable to be around the hockey program. He has a storied tradition with Irish hockey and he continues to support the program in a different but very important capacity. We've talked several times over the last couple months. Professionally, he has avoided discussing players and the coaching of the team and we have kept our conversation to things such as our development as far as the fund raising effort, the alumni and the overall growth of the program, which he still has great support for.

Mike (West Lafayette): How key has assistant coach Andy Slaggert been to the program's transition from Dave Poulin's team to yours?
Coach Jackson: There are several reasons why I wanted to retain Andy. The first is his passion for Notre Dame and the hockey program. His understanding of how the university works, the athletic department and his comfort with the campus and campus community is invaluable to Paul Pooley and myself. Secondly, I believe had done a very good job in recruiting over the last ten years, but has lost numerous elite level players to other institutions for whatever reasons and I think with the more active involvement of Paul and myself in the recruiting process, the decisions for depth players in the recruiting process is getting much more crossover between staff members, which will minimize mistakes. Finally, Andy is the ultimate professional, a bright young hockey mind and cares as much as anyone to see this program compete at an elite level.

Adam (Oceanside): Which is a bigger adjustment as a coach: Going from college to the NHL or the NHL back to college?
Coach Jackson: I would say, if it was a direct route from college to the NHL, that would be the bigger challenge. Fortunately, I had a chance to coach in the CHL before going to the NHL, which prepared me for the massive game schedule and how to best prepare a team when you have an average of four games per week. That certainly doesn't mean that a coach in college hockey couldn't make that transition directly, but I was an assistant coach and had valuable resources in Steve Stirling and Curt Fraser helping me make the adjustments in relating to pro players. The fact that I had coached college hockey prior to going to the NHL made my latest transition much easier than it would be for a coach who had never been involved in college hockey before.

Eric (Indianapolis): Coach, what's been the biggest change in your impressions of Notre Dame from when you coached against the Irish at Lake Superior State to when you came to campus this year?
Coach Jackson: Understanding the commitment the university really does have towards hockey. I think in the early 90s, I questioned that commitment to hockey and since I've been here, I've found, with the exception of a new facility, that anything any coach in the country could ask for is availble here. From our personnel, having a quality, fulltime strength coach, video coordinator, training and equipment staff, outstanding academic advisor and the resources to hire a quality coaching staff, I couldn't imagine any more support. Our equipment, travel and recruiting budget, I would venture to say, is as good as anywhere in the country. The incredible academic and campus support for the student-athlete at this university is second to none.

Joe (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.): Coach, what are the biggest differences, from your perspective, between being at a full D-I program like Notre Dame with such tradition in football, basketball, etc., and being at Lake Superior State, with hockey as the only D-I program?
Coach Jackson: It is my belief that Notre Dame could and should be no different than the hockey programs at Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We can have the same type of hockey program as those schools even though we only have an undergraduate student body of 8,000. I have no problems sharing the spotlight with an incredible athletic department that goes beyond basketball and football. But, as in my meeting with the Executive Vice President of the university, his feeling, as is mine, is that hockey can be a special sport at the University of Notre Dame.

Tim (Pawtucket, RI): What are you looking from from the Irish this weekend against Michigan? Last year's series was lopsided in favor of the Wolverines. What do you have to do to be successful against them?
Coach Jackson: Michigan is one of the premier programs in the country, challenging for another NCAA title. Yet, we competed well against Colorado College and Denver two weeks ago, both on the road, which have similar quality programs. We may lack some of the individual talent that Michigan has, so if we are to have any success, it will have to be based on team success.
CSTV.com Moderator: Time for coach to get ready for practice, so we need to end our chat here.
Coach Jackson: Thank you for all the questions. I had a great time. And thank you for supporting Notre Dame hockey.
CSTV.com Moderator: We will be back at 2:00 Eastern for the second half of today's Tuesday @ The Rink, when we will be joined by Quinnipiac Head Coach Rand Pecknold. See you at the top of the hour.

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