CALL IT A CAREER: Former UNO hockey coach, current administrator, retiring in May

Mike Kemp was UNO's first hockey coach, from 1996-2009. He's served as an administrator in the athletic department since then.
Posted at 10:29 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 23:29:09-05

OMAHA (KMTV) — Mike Kemp, the Executive Associate Athletic Director at UNO and the program’s first hockey coach, announced Wednesday he will retire in May.

  • Mike Kemp served as UNO’s hockey coach from 1996-2009, after which he began his administrative career in the athletic department.
  • Kemp not only helped build the program, he also had a major role in designing Baxter Arena.
  • He says he still plans to go to hockey and other UNO sports events after he’s retired.


A UNO Hockey Hall of Fame coach is hanging up his skates.

Mike Kemp was the program’s first head coach from 1996-2009, and has since served as an administrator in the athletic department.

He’s retiring after 48 years in college athletics–28 of those with the Mavs.

“They’ve been a huge part of my life,” Kemp said. “Not just my life. My family’s. And I’ll never be very far from it. The problem is I’ll probably now that I won’t have anything to do in the winter, I’ll probably be here way more than the coaches are gonna want me to be around.

“You know you’ve given your life that much to it, and it’s something that’s in your blood and it’s something that you never really want to give up. I loved every minute of it. I said I’ve loved every minute I’ve worked and there was never a day in my career that I ever felt I got up in the morning and dreaded going to work.”

“He recruited me when I was an 18-year-old out of Canada,” current UNO hockey head coach Mike Gabinet said. “If you had asked me where, 28 years or 25 years or whatever it is, later where I’d be now, I owe everything to coach Kemp. He’s a special person in my life and a special person for the program.”

“What I'm most proud of is the number of players that we had, going back to1996, who came to this community, 'cause they all came from someplace else,” Kemp said. “They all came here, put down roots, graduated from UNO, got degrees, got jobs in the community and have given back to the community. To me that's the thing I'm most proud of.”

Kemp’s retirement will officially begin in May.