DENVER, Colo. — Former University of Maine ice hockey team captain and All-American Jim Montgomery is one of four finalists for the head coaching job at the University of Denver, according to a published report in the Denver Post.
A decision on a new DU coach was expected to be made over the weekend and the announcement was going to be made early next week, according to the Post.
DU coach George Gwozdecky was fired on April 1 after 19 years at the school. Maine coach Tim Whitehead was fired earlier this week after 12 seasons as head coach.
Montgomery, who has led the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States (junior A-amateur) Hockey League to a 116-45-21 record the past three seasons, captained Maine to its first NCAA championship in 1992-93 when the Black Bears went 42-1-2.
He was a Hobey Baker finalist that year but linemate Paul Kariya won the award.
He said Thursday he was interested in the vacant Maine job but hadn’t been contacted by anyone from the university and was “shocked and stunned” that he hadn’t been.
“I hope they contact me,” said the 43-year-old Montgomery, who added that there was “no doubt in my mind” he could return the Black Bears to a position of national prominence.
Montgomery led the first-year Fighting Saints to the Clark Cup in 2010-11 and he was voted the league’s general manager of the year. He serves as the coach and general manager. The Clark Cup is awarded to the USHL playoff champion. His current team finished with the league’s best regular season record (43-11-8).
Maine went 96-102-28 under Whitehead the past six seasons and made just one NCAA Tournament appearance after a nine-year run of qualifying for the tourney.
Montgomery, a former assistant at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC) and Notre Dame (CCHA), is joined in the University of Denver finalist pool by RPI head coach Seth Appert, whom Montgomery worked for at RPI; Boston College associate head coach Greg Brown and Derek Lalonde, the head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.
Appert and Lalonde were both assistants at DU under Gwozdecky, who compiled a 443-267-64 record at Denver and won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005.
Appert was an assistant at Denver during those national championship seasons and has compiled a 99-136-31 record in seven years at RPI.
Lalonde spent five seasons at Denver as the goaltending coach and No. 2 assistant and led Green Bay to the USHL championship in his first season a year ago. Appert and Lalonde are both 38 years old.
Brown, who is 45, has been at Boston College for the last nine seasons during which the Eagles have won three NCAA titles and reached the Frozen Four five times.