Renfrew leaves for NHL scouting role; Megna close to inking a pro contract

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Nebraska Omaha head coach Dean Blais (far left) will have two new assistant coaches under him in the 2012-13 season. (Photo credit: Matthew Semisch)

Nebraska Omaha assistant coach Brian Renfrew has accepted a scouting position with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League, it has been confirmed.

University of Wisconsin hockey blogger Chuck Schwartz first broke the story via his Twitter account Friday, and UNO head coach Dean Blais confirmed the news to the Omaha World-Herald’s Rob White for an article that ran Sunday.

Renfrew is the second former UNO assistant to leave this offseason. Mike Hastings, once Blais’s associate head coach, departed in April to take the vacant head coaching position at Minnesota State.

Having only spent the 2011-12 season in Omaha, Renfrew will now return to Lansing, Mich., where his family had maintained its residence while he was working at UNO. He will be able to work for the Jets organization out of Lansing.

Before arriving in Omaha, Renfrew spent the previous eight seasons on the coaching staff at Michigan State, with the final three seasons being spent as an associate head coach under Rick Comley. He also enjoyed prior assistant coaching stints at Alaska Fairbanks (2000-2001) and Northern Michigan (2001-2003).

Blais told the World-Herald that a search for Renfrew’s replacement is underway, but that the job description has not yet been set. Renfrew’s main responsibility at UNO was working with the Mavericks’ goaltenders.

Renfrew’s replacement will join Steve Johnson, another new assistant on UNO’s coaching staff. Johnson, formerly an assistant coach at St. Cloud State, was hired in June to take over for Hastings.

Megna on verge of joining Pittsburgh

Jayson Megna, who left UNO last week to sign a professional contract, is set to sign a deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.

Mike Colligan, an NHL analyst at Forbes.com SportsMoney, sent a message via Twitter Sunday that the Penguins are finalizing a deal to sign Megna, a 22-year-old forward that is going pro after spending only one season at UNO.

Megna would have been the Mavericks’ second-leading returning scorer if he had come back to Omaha for his sophomore season. He put together 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points in his one season at UNO.

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