Dallas new head coach Jim Montgomery

(Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Dallas Stars Introduce Jim Montgomery As Next Head Coach

May 04, 2018 - 12:18 pm

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan/AP) — The Dallas Stars introduced Jim Montgomery as their new head coach at a press conference on Friday. 

"We are extremely happy to announce Jim as the head coach of the Dallas Stars, general manager Jim Nill said. "He has achieved success at every level throughout his coaching career, establishing a unique culture around every team that he has led. He has created a standard of excellence by building trust with his players, while putting systems in place that allow his teams to compete for championships season after season."

The former University of Denver coach takes over for Ken Hitchcock, who retired last month and will become a consultant for the Stars. 

"Jim has established himself not only as one of the most well-respected coaches in collegiate hockey, but in the sport as a whole, said owner Tom Gaglardi. "He has seen the game evolve from his career as a player through his time behind the bench at the junior hockey and NCAA levels, and has been able to adapt his coaching style to ensure his team's success. The knowledge and experience he has gained from his diverse hockey background will aid our organization immensely moving forward."

Montgomery, who wants to be called "Monty", was thrilled to get the call from the Stars.

"This is an awesome day for my family. This job is something that we wanted and we're just happy it came to fruition," Montgomery said. "For our family, we loved our loved our life in Denver and I loved my job. And the only way I was going to move from a great position was for an opportunity that was better."

Montgomery mentioned three reasons why he and his family felt it was a better opportunity, one of them being the chance to win. 

"When I look at this lineup, I really get excited. It has everything you want," Montgomery said. "It has star power. ... You have Benn, Seguin, Radulov, Klingberg, Bishop. You have depth, you have size. You have skill and you have speed at every position. I look forward to getting to know everybody and I look forward to working with them."

Montgomery becomes the second college-to-NHL hire in the past three years, following the Flyers' Dave Hakstol in 2015. Hakstol was considered one of the premier college coaches at North Dakota before making the switch. The Flyers have gone to the playoffs in two of the three seasons Hakstol has been in charge.

Dallas is banking on a similar showing under the 48-year-old Montgomery, who spent five seasons in charge of the Pioneers and led them to a national title in 2016-17. He finished 125-57-26 at a university well known for its hockey and lacrosse programs.

Montgomery inherits a Dallas squad led by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. The Stars are coming off a season in which they missed the playoffs for the eighth time in 10 seasons. Hitchcock returned for just a season before hanging it up. He's the only coach to lead the team to a Stanley Cup title.

Before his arrival in Denver, Montgomery spent three seasons as the head coach/general manager of the United States Hockey League's Dubuque Fighting Saints. He also served as an assistant coach at RPI from 2006-10. He started his coaching career as a volunteer coach at Notre Dame in '05-06.

As a player, Montgomery led Maine to a national title in 1993 before embarking on a 12-year pro career that included stops in an assortment of leagues, including parts of six seasons in the NHL. He finished his career by playing one game for the Stars during the '02-03 season.