GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- North Dakota head men’s hockey coach Dave Hakstol, who led the program to seven NCAA Frozen Four appearances in 11 seasons, announced his resignation on Monday and was named head coach of the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Hakstol was introduced as Flyers head coach at news conference in Philadelphia. UND Director of Athletics Brian Faison indicated that the search for Hakstol’s replacement at North Dakota is already underway.
“We will seek the best coach for the best men’s hockey program in the country as expeditiously as possible,” Faison said. “I want to thank Dave for the tremendous job he did in leading the men’s hockey program at North Dakota. While the numbers speak to his teams’ many successes on the ice, just as important is the impact he and his staff have had on the student-athletes who have played for him.”
Hakstol, appointed head coach at UND on July 9, 2004 after four seasons as an assistant coach to Dean Blais, amassed a 289-143-43 (.654) overall record in his 11 seasons behind the bench of his alma mater and leaves as the second-winningest coach in program history. The Warburg, Alberta, native led UND to the NCAA postseason in each of his 11 seasons, including seven appearances in the NCAA Frozen Four, most of any program in the country during that span.
“I have spent the better part of my professional life with the University of North Dakota hockey program and every day of it has been a privilege,” Hakstol said. “I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from some of the best people in hockey and I’m lucky to be able to call them my friends. I want to thank the staff, players and fans who have helped make this such a special place for our family.”
UND won three regular-season conference titles under Hakstol, capturing the MacNaughton Cup as Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) champion in 2008-09 and 2010-11 and the Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) champion in 2014-15. He also led UND to four Broadmoor Trophies as WCHA playoff champion in 2005-06, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Hakstol was named NCHC Herb Brooks Coach of the Year in 2014-15 and WCHA Coach of the Year in 2008-09 and was an eight-time finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year.
Forty-six of Hakstol’s players at UND played professionally in 2014-15 and 20 reached the National Hockey League, including an NCHC-leading 16 this past season. Two of his former players, Matt Greene of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, have each won a pair of Stanley Cup championships. UND produced a total of 42 NHL draft picks during Hakstol’s tenure, including eight first-round picks.
UND also achieved high academic distinction in the classroom over the past 11 years, with 117 student-athletes earning academic all-conference honors. Two of those players, defensemen Nick Mattson (2013-14) and Chay Genoway (2008-09), were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. This past season, Mattson was named NCHC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned his second consecutive NCAA Elite 89 Award for possessing the highest grade-point average among NCAA Frozen Four participants.
Prior to being named head coach at UND, Hakstol spent four seasons on Blais’ staff from 2000-01 through 2003-04. He was hired as an assistant coach on July 1, 2000, and was elevated to associate head coach in December of that same year.
Hakstol played at UND for three seasons from 1989-90 through 1991-92 and served as team captain in each of his last two seasons. He played in 107 collegiate games and registered 10 goals and 36 assists. He went on to play professionally for five years with the International Hockey League’s (IHL) Minnesota Moose (1994-96) and Indianapolis Ice (1992-94).
Following his playing career, Hakstol served as head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Sioux City Musketeers for four seasons from 1996-97 through 1999-2000. He was named USHL Coach of the Year in 1997-98.