At just about any UNO hockey game or athletic event, there is a good chance that you may see Mike Kemp.
Kemp is a man who likes to stay busy and stay supportive of the team he loves: The Omaha Mavericks.
During his time at UNO, Kemp has accumulated a long list of titles. Among them are his role as the very first head coach of UNO hockey and his most recent role as the associate athletic director. Now, he can add another title to that list.
On July 27, it was announced that Kemp would serve as the chair of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Hockey Committee for the 2020-2021 season. Kemp will be replacing former chair Steve Metcalf, who now serves as the commissioner of the Hockey East Association.
This appointment comes at a difficult time, as schools across the country struggle to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the uncertainty of the pandemic, it will likely be a challenging year, but our entire committee has the best interest of the student-athletes at the forefront of all our decisions,” Kemp said in a statement. “We understand our role, and do not take it lightly as we will need to continue to ensure the Division I men’s hockey championship is one of the premier NCAA championships.”
Though the committee has yet to come up with a decision on how it will handle hockey’s return amidst the pandemic, Kemp will provide experienced leadership. He previously served on the board for two years as a committee member, and his upcoming year as chair will be his final year on the committee.
Even before serving on the committee and arriving at UNO, Kemp was well versed in the world of NCAA hockey. He has worked around hockey for his entire career, beginning in 1976 as an assistant hockey coach for his alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College.
Kemp has worked with programs such as The University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois at Chicago, but the bulk of his work with hockey has been at UNO where he served as the head coach of the hockey program for 13 years. During his reign, the team found its footing in DI hockey and became one of the more reputable programs in the nation.
With many years of coaching and administrative experience backing him, Kemp will look to lead NCAA hockey forward in one of the more difficult times it has known. There is seemingly little doubt that, in spite of the challenges faced this season, Kemp is the right man for the job.