Scott McConnell Gets USHL Coaching Post

(above) Former Pioneer player Scott McConnell is the new head coach and GM of the USHL Chicago Steel

The USHL Chicago Steel announced that DU Alum Scott McConnell has been officially named Head Coach and General Manager of the hockey team. McConnell joined the Steel in October of 2010 and served as Assistant Coach before being named the interim Head Coach and General Manager of the club on February 24th, 2011.

"We are extremely happy with our decision. We took our time making the right choice for the team and organization, and we look forward to the future," said Chicago Steel President Mike Greenberg. "Scott has the approach and mentality that we are looking for. He is going to build our team to be offensive and very tough to play against."

Besides being involved with the USHL, McConnell has experience on the international stage as he took a short break from the Steel this past winter and served in the role of video coach for the U.S. National Junior Team that won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York.

Next season will be McConnell's sixth behind the bench in the USHL. He spent three seasons on the coaching staff of the Indiana Ice (2005-08) and helped lead them to a first-place finish in the East Division during the 2007-08 season. The native of Colorado Springs, Colorado then joined the staff of the Des Moines Buccaneers for the 2008-09 season.

Additional coaching experience for the 32-year-old included being the video coach for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, during the 2009-10 season. He has also had coaching stints with Billings in the NAHL and Bay City in the Western States Hockey League.

McConnell had a four-year collegiate career at the University of Denver (2000-04) and was part of the squad that captured the 2004 NCAA Championship.

The Chicago Steel coach has deep roots in the game of hockey as he is the grandson of legendary coach "Badger Bob" Johnson who led the University of Wisconsin to three national titles (1973, 1977, and 1981) and guided the Pittsburgh Penguins to their first Stanley Cup in 1991.


Anonymous said...

Good for Scott. He has earned it,

dggoddard said...

Scott will do a great job. Congrats.

Aluuum said...

If Gwoz. leaves after this season watch out for Scott taking over. He has all of the neccessary tools. A smart guy with good character in addition to hockey knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Aluuum: I like Scott, and I think he has a very bright future. But he would not be ready to step into Gwoz's shoes, if Gwoz leaves. DU is not going to make a transition from one of the best and most experienced coaches in the game, to someone like Scott who has just started his first head coaching job. Scott would probably need 5-10 more years of head coaching experience before he'd be ready to jump into a job like at DU. Plus, DU would most likely want to hire someone with extensive NCAA coaching experience, someone who is a proven recruiter, etc.

dggoddard said...

Coaching a major college athletic program is a very complicated business.

You need a proven track record, an advanced degree, ability to discipline the players, work with alumni, handle the press, manage the budget, manage the staff, intimidate referees, deflect the administration, win games, deal with parents, abide by NCAA rules, maintain relationships with peer coaches, recruit multiple players simultaneously-years in advance and nowadays, a proven track record of developing players into NHL players.

Who would want that job?

Anonymous said...

Aluuum-Hitting the bottle a little early today eh?

Anonymous said...

If Gwoz were to leave tomorrow:

1. Seth Appert
2. Jeff Blashill
2. Kevin Dineen
3. Steve Miller
4. Rich Preston
5. Derek Lalonde