UNO Hockey
Aug 18, 2021
Coach Mike Gabinet
UNO Hockey

Mike Gabinet became the third head coach in Omaha hockey history on April 5, 2017 after serving as associate head coach during the 2016-17 season, his first with his alma mater.  Gabinet is the first former UNO player to serve as the team’s head coach.

Coach Gabinet continued to put his mark on the Mavericks in his fourth season as head coach.  The Mavericks improved by five wins and three conference wins in 2019-20, posting a record of 14-17-5 overall and 8-13-3-0/0 in the NCHC, good for sixth place.  During the campaign, the Mavericks authored wins over six top-20 teams including wins over North Dakota when it was ranked No. 1 and No. 2 and a pair of ties against No. 4 Denver.

Gabinet’s mentorship of young players was on prominent display in 2019-20 as the Mavericks placed both Joey Abate and Brandon Scanlin on the NCHC All-Rookie Team.  It was the first time Omaha had had two freshman named to the team.  Indeed, rookie development was paramount for Gabinet and his staff as the team fielded 11 freshmen in 2019-20.  In addition to Abate and Scanlin, Ryan Brushett and Nolan Sullivan finished in the top 11 in scoring among NCHC freshmen, the most of any school.  

In 2018-19, his second season as head coach, Gabinet led the Mavericks to a 9-24-3 record and a mark of 5-17-2-0/1 in the NCHC.  The schedule was the second-toughest in school history, and yet the Mavericks earned five wins over teams ranked in the top 20.  They finished the season in the top 10 nationally in power play percentage.  Gabinet coached Mason Morelli to the NCHC All-Conference Second Team and helped Taylor Ward to NCHC Rookie of the Year honors.

In his first year behind the bench, Gabinet led the Mavericks to a 17-17-2 record and a fifth-place finish in the NCHC with a mark of 10-13-1-0/0.  The Mavericks had the conference’s best power play, and Gabinet coached David Pope to a berth on the NCHC All-Conference First Team.

Before joining the Mavericks, Gabinet was the head coach of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2015-16.  He led the Ooks to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Championship with a 36-0 record, only the second time in 51 years that a team had finished undefeated in the conference.  He was named ACAC Coach of the Year and became the first rookie head coach to guide his team to an undefeated season in Canadian college hockey history.

Prior to that, he was an associate coach at NAIT for three seasons.

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Gabinet played defense for the Mavericks from 2000-04 and was an alternate captain as a senior.  In 130 career games, he scored six goals and 41 assists for 47 points.  He still ranks 10th all-time in points by a UNO defenseman.

Gabinet was a draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2001 and played professionally in the American Hockey League, the ECHL and in Europe before turning to coaching in 2012.

Gabinet comes from an outstanding hockey family.  He is the grandson of Canadian hockey coaching legend Clare Drake who enjoyed success in both college and international coaching.  His grandfather was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.

Gabinet graduated from Omaha in 2004 with a degree in business finance.  He and his wife, Antara, have a son, Noah, and a daughter, Jordyn.