Cedar Rapids Superintendent Brad Buck and two members of the Cedar Rapids school board - which is poised to decide whether to close eight and rebuild 10 of the district's elementary schools - will take questions in an open forum Wednesday.

ARTICLE

RoughRiders Carlson a "strong candidate" for UMass head hockey job

Head coach Mark Carlson gives instructions to members of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders during a game against the Tri-City Storm in January 2007. Carlson got his 400th win as a RoughRiders coach a 2-1 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers, on Tuesday night, March 22, 2011. (Gazette file photo)
Head coach Mark Carlson gives instructions to members of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders during a game against the Tri-City Storm in January 2007. Carlson got his 400th win as a RoughRiders coach a 2-1 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers, on Tuesday night, March 22, 2011. (Gazette file photo)

Several reports from the East Coast on Monday night indicated Cedar Rapids RoughRiders head coach/general manager/owner Mark Carlson is a "strong" candidate to become the new head hockey coach at the University of Massachusetts.

UMass has been searching for a coach to replace "Toot" Cahoon, who left the program recently. Several possible replacements have emerged but most have bowed out of the running after interviews

Carlson said Monday in a text message that he is a candidate at UMass and has interviewed but has not officially been offered the job. He has been the RoughRiders' lone head coach/general manager since the franchise relocated to Cedar Rapids from Mason City for the 1999-2000 season.

He has led the Riders to the United States Hockey League playoffs 12 straight seasons, including a Clark Cup championship in 2004-05. The club won the Anderson Cup for most regular-season points in 2010-11.

Carlson has interviewed previously for head college coaching positions, including Massachusetts-Lowell, his alma mater, two years ago. He is reportedly one of two finalists for the UMass job.

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