- Sep 9, 2015
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On moving through the coaching ranks, getting Lindenwood started in D-I, and his playing days at North Dakota and the NHL.
Here's a June College Hockey News Q & A with Lindenwood head coach and former North Dakota player Rick Zombo:
After many years of discussion, Lindenwood finally made the leap to raise its men's hockey program to NCAA Division I status.
That means Rick Zombo is now a Division I head coach, after spending about a decade leading the Lions' ACHA club program.
Zombo was a freshman on the 1982 North Dakota national championship team, and captained the 1983-84 team before going pro. He had a long NHL career, mainly with Detroit and St. Louis.
CHN: What are your expectations here?
Zombo: I just gotta be myself and do what I do. I have a tremendous amount of confidence. I think it's much easier to coach a Triple-A player than a Double-A player. So the 14 years I had in the ACHA, was extremely enjoyable. ... A lot of people think there's a shortcut to coaching, and everything is on the Internet — which it is — and it's the gospel and the truth, but there's also an art to it. So having, sheesh, way over 30 years of coaching, you have to understand Adam, the contracts are not what's available now. So I always did hockey schools, whether it's my own or assisting other hockey schools. And that gives me, I call it the juice — being around kids is the juice for me. And I still do it ... I never turn down an opportunity to go on the ice so long as the rest of my responsibilities have been fulfilled. But my expectations are to make certain we're competitive. As a player I was always successful in people saying, "He's an American, he's from Chicago, can't skate" — there's a lot of people that sit on the sidelines that can hit stop, pause, rewind and become a genius. It's a matter of actually doing it yourself. So I make certain I surround myself with really talented people that the number one important thing is trust among the staff, and the second thing is prove you care to the players every single day. I don't complicate things. There's still only one puck on the ice.