Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Jim Montgomery named new Pioneers hockey coach

Jim Montgomery, former head coach and general manager of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League, was named head coach at the University of Denver Monday. Photo: DU Athletics

Former Dubuque Fighting Saints head coach and general manager Jim Montgomery has been named head coach of the University of Denver men’s ice hockey team, Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes announced today. Montgomery becomes the eighth head coach in DU ice hockey history — a program that began in 1949.

“From the onset of our search, Jim Montgomery was at the top of our list, and it is an absolute pleasure to welcome him to the Pioneer family,” Bradley-Doppes said. “Jim has all of the attributes needed to successfully take the reins of our hockey program — a commitment to excellence, integrity and superb hockey acumen, to name just a few. He has won at every level, and, most importantly, he has comported himself with class and dignity at every stop. With this hire, we have landed a coach who has the experience and enthusiasm to guide our talented student-athletes to excel in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference.”

Montgomery spent three seasons at the helm in Dubuque, holding the title of general manager in addition to being the head coach. He guided the Fighting Saints to the Clark Cup championship during his first season and was also recognized as the USHL General Manager of the Year by his peers. This season has seen Montgomery lead the Fighting Saints to a record of 45-11-8 (98 points) and a clinching of the Eastern Conference Championship and regular-season USHL crown.

Montgomery’s background includes time as an assistant coach at two collegiate programs. He spent the four years prior to his arrival in Dubuque as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to his stint at RPI, Montgomery served as a volunteer assistant at Notre Dame during the 2005-06 campaign.

“I am honored to become the eighth head coach of the University of Denver’s storied hockey program,” Montgomery said. “I look forward to building upon the tradition of excellence created over the past 60 years by Murray Armstrong, and continued through the decades with other outstanding coaches, most notably George Gwozdecky. All have been blessed with some incredibly talented student-athletes who have played at DU. The vision and leadership of Chancellor Coombe and Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes has me excited about what we can achieve together.”

Montgomery played collegiate hockey at the University of Maine, where he is one of only three players to have his jersey retired at Alfond Arena. Montgomery is the University of Maine’s all-time leading scorer, with 301 points on 103 goals and 198 assists in 170 career games. He captained the 1992-93 team to the school’s first NCAA championship, as the Black Bears went 42-1-2. That year, Montgomery was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, with the honor going to his linemate and National Hockey League standout Paul Kariya.

In addition to his collegiate record, Montgomery played professional hockey from 1993-2005. He spent parts of six seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues (1993-94), Montreal Canadiens (1994-95), Philadelphia Flyers (1994-95 and 1995-96), San Jose Sharks (2000-01) and Dallas Stars (2001-02 and 2002-03). Internationally, he played in Russia and Germany, as well as in the American Hockey League, International Hockey League and United Hockey League.

Montgomery currently resides in Dubuque with his wife, Emily, and sons, JP and Colin.


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