Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hakstol inks contract extension

Coach Hakstol isn't going anywhere and has signed a six year deal.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison announced today that head men’s hockey coach Dave Hakstol has been signed to a new six-year contract that will keep him behind the Fighting Sioux bench through the 2017-18 season.

Through his first eight seasons as UND head coach, Hakstol has become the third-winningest coach in program history, compiling a 213-106-30 (.653) overall record and a 129-75-20 (.621) mark during Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play.

A six-time finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year, Hakstol has guided the Sioux to five NCAA Frozen Four appearances, four WCHA Final Five playoff championships, two WCHA regular season titles and has advanced to the NCAA postseason in each of his eight years. He was named WCHA Coach of the Year in 2008-09.

“I am thrilled to announce that Coach Hakstol will continue to be behind the bench for UND hockey,” Faison said. “We have one of the elite hockey programs in the country and maintaining that high level of competitive and academic success was central to the contract process. Coach Hakstol’s teams have been successful on the ice, in the classroom and in serving the community. I wanted to make certain we kept continuity and stability in these ever-changing and challenging times.”

“I’m pleased to have the opportunity to continue working and living in what I consider to be the best environment in hockey,” Hakstol said. “I’m particularly grateful for the confidence Brian Faison has shown in me and my staff. We’re here to win and to do it the right way.”

In 2011-12, Hakstol led an injury-depleted team to its league-record third consecutive Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA Final Five champions and was named Inside College Hockey’s National Coach of the Year. With eight players missing 110 games due to injury, the Sioux were forced to dress fewer than 18 skaters on 14 occasions, yet went 11-3 in those games, earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA West Regional, and advanced to the regional championship game. UND finished the season ranked No. 5 in the poll and No. 6 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

In the classroom, 11 student-athletes earned All-WCHA Academic Team honors and three were named WCHA Scholar-Athletes, including 2011-12 WCHA Most Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year Brad Eidsness (Sr., Chestermere, Alberta).

UND also reinforced its reputation as the top draw in NCAA Division I men’s hockey by leading the nation in three attendance categories: average attendance for all games (9,999.5), total attendance for all games (419,981) and total attendance for home games (249,501).

The trademark of UND hockey during Hakstol’s tenure has been the team’s ability to play its best hockey during the most crucial time of year. UND went 5-0 in the 2012 WCHA playoffs and added a victory in the NCAA West Region semifinal, improving Hakstol’s career playoff record (WCHA and NCAA combined) to 42-15 (.737), 16 more wins than any other WCHA school during his eight-year tenure. Additionally, UND’s 12 NCAA postseason wins during that time are second only to Boston College’s 19.

Over the past eight seasons, UND has amassed a .709 winning percentage (132-49-18) in games played after the Christmas break, compared to a .577 clip (80-57-12) in games played prior to Christmas. That includes an impressive 55-13-4 (.792) record during the month of March.

Hakstol has enhanced UND’s championship legacy with Broadmoor Trophies in 2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10 and 2005-06, MacNaughton Cup victories in 2010-11 and 2008-09, and NCAA regional titles in 2010-11, 2007-08, 2006-07, 2005-06 and 2004-05.

The 2011-12 season marked the eighth time in as many seasons under Hakstol in which the Sioux have won 20 or more games, the second-longest streak of 20 wins in school history behind only John “Gino” Gasparini’s 13 in a row from 1978-79 to 1990-91.

Eight players have earned All-America honors under Hakstol, including 2007 Hobey Baker Award Winner Ryan Duncan and 2011 Hobey Baker Award finalist Matt Frattin, and 25 have garnered All-WCHA honors. In the classroom, 86 of Hakstol’s players have been named to the WCHA All-Academic Team and 22 were chosen WCHA Scholar-Athletes.

UND has developed a reputation for doing an outstanding job in preparing players for professional careers, a reputation strengthened during Hakstol’s tenure. Seventeen of Hakstol’s players have gone on to play in the National Hockey League: Taylor Chorney, Joe Finley, Matt Frattin, Chay Genoway, Matt Greene, Matt Jones, Brian Lee, Brad Malone, Brady Murray, T.J. Oshie, Chris Porter, Matt Smaby, Drew Stafford, Jonathan Toews, Chris VandeVelde, Matt Watkins, and Travis Zajac. Two more, senior defenseman Ben Blood (Ottawa Senators) and sophomore forward Brock Nelson (Warroad, Minn.), signed NHL contracts following the 2011-12 season.

Eleven of Hakstol’s 17 NHL products made their NHL debuts within a year of playing their final collegiate games, including Chorney, Frattin, Genoway, Lee, Malone, Oshie, Porter, Smaby, Stafford, VandeVelde and Zajac.

Through Hakstol’s first seven seasons as head coach, 33 UND players were selected in the NHL Entry Draft, including six taken in the first round: Derek Forbort (15th overall, 2010), Brock Nelson (30th overall, 2010), Jonathan Toews (3rd overall, 2006), Brian Lee (9th overall, 2005), T.J. Oshie (24th overall, 2005) and Joe Finley (27th overall, 2005).

Hakstol, 35 years old when he was named UND’s head men’s hockey coach on July 9, 2004, is only the fourth Fighting Sioux head coach in the past 43 years. Hakstol, a Sioux player from 1989-92, is also just the fifth former UND player to also become head coach at North Dakota.

Prior to taking over as UND’s head coach, the former Sioux captain was a member of Dean Blais’ coaching staff for four seasons and in that stint helped coach the Sioux to a pair of WCHA titles, three NCAA appearances and the 2001 national championship game.

Before joining the UND staff on July 1, 2000, Hakstol spent four seasons (1996-2000) as the general manager and head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), posting winning seasons in his last three seasons. Overall, Hakstol had a 101-109-13 record with the Musketeers. He was named the USHL Coach of the Year in 1997-98.
Before beginning his coaching career, Hakstol played professional hockey with the IHL’s Minnesota Moose from 1994-96, serving as team captain for two years, and with the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice from 1992-1994, serving as team captain for one season. In five professional seasons, Hakstol played in 250 games, scoring 12 goals and recording 37 assists. He also accumulated 455 penalty minutes.

As a defenseman on the Sioux hockey team from 1989-92, Hakstol was a three-year letterwinner and served as team captain from 1990 to 1992. He played in 107 games for UND, scoring 10 goals and adding 36 assists for 46 points. He had 77 penalties for 191 minutes.

Hakstol and his wife, Erinn, have two children: daughter Avery and son Brenden.