Mike Heika wrote:Jim Montgomery will be announced as the Stars' next head coach on Friday, according to a source.
Montgomery, 48, has served the past five seasons as head coach at Denver University, winning the NCAA championship in 2017. He will be just the fifth coach in history to jump straight from the college ranks to head coach in the NHL, so the Stars are going a different route with this hire.
The Denver Post reports that Montgomery informed his college team at noon Monday that he has agreed in principle to a deal with the Stars, according to a source.
Stars general manager Jim Nill said when the coaching search to replace Ken Hitchcock, who announced his retirement April 13, began that he would interview veteran coaches, but also wanted to consider coaches with less experience.
"The coaching fraternity has almost become like the players now," Nill said at the time. "I'm amazed at the kids who come in at 18 or 19 and they don't miss a beat, and I think we're seeing that with coaches, too. The game is changing and you have to evolve, and I think it's important for us to make sure you look over every option."
Montgomery brings in both the experience of being a pro hockey player for 13 years, as well as coaching younger players for the past 13. The University of Maine product was a professional hockey player for 13 seasons, including a brief stint with the Stars. He then spent five years as a collegiate assistant coach and then coached the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints for three seasons.
He started coaching Denver University in 2013 and in five seasons has gone 125-57-26, including the NCAA National Championship in 2017.
Montgomery has said in his writings that he borrows ideas from great coaches in every sport and that he believes in a detailed-oriented approach that stresses repetition.
Here is an outtake from an article he wrote for The Coaches Site:
"It's about keeping things simple and boring, really. Simple and boring work well in sports. Through my playing career, I noticed that if I thought about simple things, small details about my game, I usually had really good games; when I worried about the big things like results, I played nervous and didn't play well."
"Coming up with the process was a way for me to relate to my team about what will give us success. When we're playing bigger games, we always come back to the process and it allows us to play consistently in the big moments when the pressure is on. We always say, "we're about the process" because it keeps things simple."
"I called it the process because if our process is good, the results will take care of themselves. It helps with the mental component, too--when moments get big, we talk about staying in the moment and focusing on our process. We should be focusing on our next shift, or the next face off. The simplicity of the process allows our players to mentally lock in."
So, what is the process? It's made up of seven things.
1. 50 hits in a game
2. Win 60 percent of our face offs
3. Give up three or less odd man rushes
4. Commit to blocking shots
5. Win the special teams battle
6. Win the net front battle
7. Take zero undisciplined penalties