07/13/2009 8:36 PM -
Nick Gorup finished his career as the most prolific scorer in Rhinos history and has now made the decision to join Rhinos teammate Jeff Schmudlach at Milwaukee School of Engineering*.
Destined to be one of the most beloved Rhinos to ever lace up the skates.
Nick has personified everything good about the Rhinos program, coaching countless hours with the youth teams, ref'd 100's of games,a fantastic role model to the young kids, and a great leader and captain on ice and in the locker room.
Coach Herman says Nick is "the type of person you can build a program around".
His on ice production is obvious as he holds almost all of the Rhinos records for scoring, but Nick's real quality has been as a citizen, leader, and ambassador for the Rhinos program since Day 1.
Inheriting these qualities from his Father (Bernard), and Mother (Mary) back in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Nick will now fulfillhis dream and play college hockey.
We're sure he will continue to exhibit how great a young man he is, and be a shining example for allRhino players when they move on.
Nick and the Gorup family with their ever present #9 jerseys will be missed by the Rhino faithful come hockey season.
What schools were you looking at?
I was being looked at by MSOE, The University of St. Thomas, The University of St. Johns, and Lebanon Valley.
What made you decide on MSOE?
I decided on MSOE because when I went to visit it felt like home, like the place I have to play at. Plus it is not too far away for my parents to come watch and it is an excellent school.
Was coach Ostapina involved in your recruiting?
Coach Ostapina was heavily involved in recruiting me. I talked to him at the National Tourney in Boston and when I came home he called me a lot and told me a lot about the program and the school. I went up there for a visit and he personally showed me around the entire campus
What are your family's thoughts about your signing?
My family is very excited about my decision about going to MSOE. They are happy that is a great school and a great hockey program, and plus it is only about 8 hours away from my house. I also have family near Chicago so they could come watch me too.
Where do you think your biggest hurdle will be, on the ice or in the classroom?
I think I will have a harder time in the classroom than on the ice HAHAHA. Just because of the fact i have not been to school in a while, but I know I have to work really hard to contribute on the ice too If i don't work hard in the classroom I will not be able to play to I'm going to take each one very serious.
Do you feel you're well suited and prepared for the college game?
I think that I am ready to play college hockey. Three years playing Junior for a great program under a great coach has prepared me. This summer I will train really hard so I can excel in college
Was Coach Herman involved/helpful during the recruiting process?
Coach Herman was very helpful and involved during this whole process. He made a few phone calls to Coach Ostapina for me and put in some really good words for me.
Looking back on your 3 years here, did things turn out how you had hoped?
My three years in El Paso couldn't have went any better. I went down there my first year not knowing anything about the program or the the league. I had the best three years of my hockey career down there.
You had a very prolific and decorated career as a Rhino.
Do you feel like you became a better player playing for Coach Herman?
Coach Herman made me a very better player over the last three years. He fine tuned my game and prepared me to play at the next level. Just being at practice everyday made me a better player because of the drills we did and being able to compete against my teammates.
What makes Coach Herman a good coach?
Coach Herman is hands down the best coach I have ever played for. He always had confidence in me and put me in the big situations. He also gave me the honor of being the Captain this past season and being able to lead the team.
Looking back at your experience in El Paso, would you change anything? what?
I would not change a single thing about the program in El Paso. My mom always told me that things happen for a reason and I really do find that to be true. I loved everything about playing in El Paso.
You and your family are a huge part of the Rhino program.
We'd love to keep in touch with your family as well as your continuing career as a player.
Do you think you will continue to keep in touch with Coach Herman and the Rhino program?
Of course I will keep in touch with Coach Herman and the Rhino program. Everyone down in El Paso is my second family. All of the fans and families always took care of me and the boys. I know my parents will keep in touch too because they absolutely loved it down there. They told me when they are not watching me play they will be watching the Rhinos online...most likely wearing my jerseys. I am trying to come down for the home opener as well.
I just want to thank everyone that does something in the Rhinos program, especially Coach Herman, Tom, and Big Wave. And to all the fans who bought my jerseys and came out to support us. I hope to see everyone down in Rhino country really soon.
"Nick is a very special player with exceptional skills and he has a dedication and love for the game that you can't teach, from coaching youth hockey, to visiting schools, Nick shared his love for the game off the ice as well.
Of all the players we have had here, Nick was one of the hardest to recruit. Being one of the first players to wear a Rhino jersey he and his family and had no idea what they were getting themselves into, but I think it worked out great for everyone.
Nick is the type of player you can build a team around, he's a coach's dream, he gives you everything he's got every shift.
We wish Nick all the best at MSOE, there is no doubt in my mind he will have the same success there as he did here"
El Paso Rhinos Head Coach
"MSOE is excited to welcome Nick Gorup to our hockey family; his philosophies regarding commitment to winning and his dedication to the task at hand are what the coaching staff wants in our players.
We feel Nick's relentless style of play and skill level will bring NCAA success to him and our team.
MSOE Head Hockey Coach
* MSOE is a private university that boasts a 98% placement rate, and for 2008 was among U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges and Universities" in the country.