Dakota Names Hakstol Head Coach
Former Blais assistant takes over top spot in Grand Forks
Dakota felt that the best candidate to take over its storied hockey
program was already on campus, officially naming interim head coach
Dave Hakstol to the permanent post on Friday. Hakstol, who spent
four years as the teamís associate head coach under Dean Blais,
was introduced at a press conference in the lobby of the Ralph Engelstad
is the pinnacle of college hockey, and there's no better place to
be," Hakstol said.
the North Dakota staff in 2000, when Scott Sandelin left to take
the head coaching position at Minnesota Duluth. Sandelin, the Spencer
Penrose Award winner this season, was thought by many to be a top
contender for the job, but North Dakota chose not to conduct an
an exciting day for UND athletics and Fighting Sioux hockey,”
athletic director Roger Thomas said in a statement. “The experience
Dave has had in helping lead our program in the past more than qualifies
him to lead this program in the present and into the future. His
background in coaching and recruiting will help carry on the tradition
of the program.”
recommended his former assistant upon his departure, something that
meant a lot to Hakstol.
what [his recommendation] tells me is that I've done a good job
the past four years," Hakstol said. "That means a whole
lot to me."
to Hakstol's appointment, North Dakota announced that assistant
coach Brad Berry had been elevated to the position of associate
head coach. A search will commence to find an assistant coach.
Hakstol takes over the tremendously
successful North Dakota program, which has won seven national championships.
Two of those came under Blais, who left the school two weeks ago
to become an associate coach with the NHLís Columbus Blue Jackets.
Last yearís North Dakota team finished 30-8-3, won the MacNaughton
Cup as the WCHA champion, and was ranked first in the nation for
much of the year, before falling to eventual champion Denver in
the NCAA quarterfinals.
lead a talented Sioux team into the 2004-05 season that should return
four of its top five scorers, including leading scorer Brandon Bochenski.
A formidable defense corps returns intact, led by Matt Jones, Andy
Schneider and Matt Greene, while the top two goaltenders are back
as well. Gone for the NHL, however, is not only Blais but also Zach
Parise, one of the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award last
A North Dakota graduate who skated for the Fighting Sioux from 1989-92, Hakstol was a two-year captain. Prior to returning to Grand Forks, Hakstol spent four years as the head coach and general manager of the USHLís Sioux City Musketeers. He was the USHL Coach of the Year in 1997-98.
Hakstol had a four-year professional career in the now-defunct IHL. He is a native of Warburg, Alta.