The Most Under-Appreciated Coach at DU

With Denver winning seven Directors Cups in eight years, it is clear that DU is blessed with some great coaches. Jim Montgomery and Bill Tierney are high-visibility coaches on the DU campus. But, there are a host of other very successful coaches that operate in relative anonymity. Below is a short-list:
  • Swim Coach Brian Schrader: Nine Conference Coach of the Year Awards in nine years. Numerous championships (team & individual) and school records set.
  • Gymnastics Coach Melissa-Kutcher Rinehart: 17-consecutive appearances at NCAA Regional s and three NCAA Nationals team berths. 
  • Ski Coach Andy LeRoy: 4 NCAA championships & one runner-up in eight years.
  • Women's Soccer Coach Jeff Hooker - Last nine seasons with 10 or more wins with Coach of the year awards and numerous conference championships & NCAA appearances.  Won 3-different conferences championships (WAC, SBC, SUMMIT)
  • Women's Lacrosse: Liza Kelly: Took the Pio's to their first NCAA's in 2014 where they won first round game. 43-11 in the last three years.
Who do you think is the most under-appreciated by us DU fans for what they have accomplished in their respective sport and why? (You can offer-up a DU coach not shown on this list as well)

*No prizes awarded. Just appreciate the warm feeling of recognizing the 'under appreciated'


Anonymous said...

Ironically, it's Jim Montgomery. He came in following a legend in Gwozdecky, inheriting a complacent DU program that had become beholden to high draft pick players demanding playing and power-play time that wasn't deserved, and typically losing to lower ranked teams in the first round of the NCAAs. DU was often soft in the late Gwoz years, and lacked grit.

Monty has dispensed with high draft pick recruits, and chosen gritty four year guys with chips on their shoulder and high work rateswho are committed to '200 foot hockey'. DU has improved its work rate, and had its best NCAA performance last year since 2005.

Anonymous said...

I'd submit Jesse Mahoney - our volleyball coach. DU had been very mediocre under coach Beth Kuwata for many years, until Mahoney shook up the program and got the Pios into their very first NCAA tournament in his third season last year. This is a pretty big turnaround for a program that barely mattered. There are tons of volleyball teams, so to make the NCAA tourney is a big deal.

5BWest said...

Beth Kuwata's overall record was 255-237 and the Pioneers had three twenty win teams during her 17 years so she was a good coach. However, there is no doubt the Jesse Mahoney has the VB program rolling. He was under consideration for our proposed 'short list' (61-33 in 3 seasons with one NCAA trip) but his tenure is still relatively short. There is no doubt that he has them on an upward trajectory and has the potential to take the Pioneer program to another level.