|Alma Mater:||North Dakota|
In just two seasons at the helm of his alma mater, Brad Berry has put his own distinct stamp on a program already steeped in tradition and success.
Berry began his head-coaching career in 2015-16 by leading UND to its eighth NCAA championship, becoming the first person in the history of NCAA Division I men’s hockey to win a national title in his first year behind the bench.
Last season, Berry guided the defending national champions to the program’s 15th straight NCAA Tournament berth, the second-longest streak in the history of the sport.
Berry has also continued UND’s reputation for developing professional hockey players, churning out 12 such players in just two years, including six who have already played in the National Hockey League heading into the 2017-18 season: Brock Boeser (Vancouver), Drake Caggiula (Edmonton), Tyson Jost (Colorado), Paul LaDue (Los Angeles), Nick Schmaltz (Chicago) and Troy Stecher (Vancouver).
A former NHL defenseman himself, Berry masterfully guided his alma mater to the program’s eighth national title in his debut season of 2015-16, bringing to a halt a 16-year drought for the storied program. Berry and the Fighting Hawks went 34-6-4, establishing a team record for most wins by a rookie head coach, and their .818 winning percentage was the second best in program history.
Berry also led UND to its second straight Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season champion, resulting in NCHC Herb Brooks Coach of the Year honors. He also garnered national coach of the year honors from U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) and was one of eight finalists for the Spencer Penrose Award, given to the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Coach of the Year.
Four of Berry’s players – forwards Boeser and Caggiula, defenseman Stecher, and goaltender Cam Johnson – earned All-America honors, joining UND’s 1986-87 team as the only entries in school history to boast four All-Americans.
Following the season, eight players signed pro contracts: Caggiula, Stecher, LaDue, Schmaltz (Chicago Blackhawks), Keaton Thompson (Anaheim Ducks), Luke Johnson (Chicago Blackhawks), Bryn Chyzyk (AHL’s Rockford IceHogs), and Coltyn Sanderson (ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears).
UND has also thrived in the classroom under Berry, placing a program-record 22 student-athletes on the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team in 2016-17. Additionally, nine individuals were named to the NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team, also a team record.
Berry was named head coach at North Dakota on May 18, 2015, becoming the 16th head coach in program history and the sixth former UND player to take the helm.
“We are excited to have Brad take leadership of the UND men’s hockey program,” said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison after appointing Berry head coach. “He is an effective recruiter, has an outstanding reputation as a teacher of the game, and brings a tremendous energy and passion to the position. His core values and his understanding of the unique culture that has made UND hockey so successful are the traits that make him the right coach to carry the program forward.”
Berry had recently completed his ninth season as an assistant coach at UND in 2014-15. He served two stints in that role, first from 2000-01 through 2005-06 and again from 2012-13 through 2014-15. He also previously spent time as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets (2010-12) and the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (2006-08).
During his nine years on the UND staff, Berry helped lead the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, five NCAA Frozen Four berths (2014-15, 2013-14, 2005-06, 2004-05 and 2000-01), three regular season conference titles (2014-15, 2003-04 and 2000-01), and one conference tournament championship (2005-06).
Berry oversaw the team’s defensemen during both of his stints at UND and routinely produced blue line units that ranked among the conference national leaders, both offensively and defensively. In each of the last two seasons, UND led the nation in both points and points per game by defensemen. At the other end of the ice, UND allowed a league-low 2.24 goals against per game in 2014-15 and ranked among the top three in the conference in that category in five of Berry’s last six seasons with the program.
Before returning to UND prior to the 2012-13 season, Berry spent two years (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Prior to that, Berry founded The Hockey Academy in Grand Forks, which focuses on developing and training youth hockey players within Grand Forks and surrounding areas. During that time (2008-10), he doubled as a part-time scout with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks.
Berry was an assistant coach with the Manitoba Moose from 2006-08 and helped lead the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate to a playoff appearance in each of his two years, including a North Division title in 2006-07.
At every stop during his career, Berry has enhanced his reputation as a coach who develops National Hockey League defensemen. Eleven of his former UND pupils have reached NHL rosters, including two-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Greene of the Los Angeles Kings. While with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, Berry mentored future Vancouver Canucks stalwart Alexander Edler. During his two years with the Blue Jackets, Berry coached the likes of James Wisniewski, Mike Commodore, Marc Methot, Jack Johnson, Kris Russell, Anton Stralman, Fedor Tyutin, and Rostislav Klesla.
Berry himself was a standout defenseman as a player, first at UND where he collected 74 points (12 goals, 62 assists) in 112 games from 1983-86 under legendary head coach John “Gino” Gasparini. Berry also won a gold medal with Canada at the 1985 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
A second-round draft pick (29th overall) of the Winnipeg Jets in 1983, Berry went on to play in 241 NHL games over eight years, including stints with Winnipeg, Minnesota and Dallas. His professional playing career also included stops in the Swedish Elite League and the International Hockey League (IHL). While with the IHL’s Michigan K-Wings, Berry was a three-time IHL All-Star and was named the K-Wings’ Defenseman of the Year three times.
After his playing career ended, Berry was a professional scout with the 1999-2000 Dallas Stars team that advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.
A native of Bashaw, Alberta, Berry’s family includes his wife, Suzanne, daughters, Brianna and Brooke, and son, Bauer.
The BRAD BERRY File
· April 1, 1965
· Bashaw, Alberta
· Bachelor’s Degree, Business Admin. (UND ’02)
· Wife, Suzanne
· Daughters, Brianna & Brooke
· Son, Bauer
· 2015-16 USCHO Coach of the Year
· 2015-16 NCHC Herb Brooks Coach of the Year
· 2000-04: Assistant Coach, University of North Dakota (NCAA)
· 2004-06: Assoc. Head Coach, University of North Dakota (NCAA)
· 2006-08: Assistant Coach, Manitoba Moose (AHL)
· 2010-12: Assistant Coach, Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
· 2012-15: Assistant Coach, University of North Dakota (NCAA)
· 1999-00: Scout, Dallas Stars (NHL)
· 2008-10: Scout, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
· 2008-10: Director, The Hockey Academy
· 1983-86: University of North Dakota (NCAA)
· 1985-90: Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
· 1990-91: Canadian National Team
· 1990-91: Brynas IF Gavle (Swedish Elite League)
· 1991-93: Minnesota North Stars (NHL)
· 1993-94: Dallas Stars (NHL)
· 1994-95: Kalamazoo K-Wings (IHL)
· 1995-96: Michigan K-Wings (IHL)