"You can get and complete a great education and while you're doing that, it's two simple things for us: No. 1, you'll be part of winning, learning the importance and difficulties of being successful. That's where the history of our program plays such a huge role. And No. 2, we want to help players into the NHL, but at the end of the day, not everybody will, which is why No. 1 is so important."
-- Dave Hakstol on North Dakota hockey
Now in his 10th season as the head coach at the University of North Dakota, Dave Hakstol has established himself as one of the most accomplished and well-respected bench bosses in NCAA hockey.
The only active Division I coach with a winning record in every season of his career, Hakstol has guided his teams to either an NCAA Frozen Four berth, a conference regular season championship or a conference playoff title in nine of his 10 seasons.
Through his first nine seasons as UND head coach, Hakstol has become the third-winningest coach in program history, compiling a 235-119-37 (.648) overall record.
A six-time finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year, Hakstol has guided UND to five NCAA Frozen Four appearances, four WCHA Final Five playoff championships, two WCHA regular season titles and has advanced to the NCAA postseason in each of his nine years. He was named WCHA Coach of the Year in 2008-09.
Last season Hakstol guided the men’s hockey program to its 11th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the longest active streak in Division I men’s hockey. Seniors Danny Kristo and Corban Knight were both named Hobey Baker Award finalists and All-Americans, while sophomore defenseman Nick Mattson distinguished himself in the classroom by earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
UND also reinforced its reputation as the top draw in NCAA Division I men’s hockey by leading the nation in average home attendance (11,592), the only program in the country to average better than 10,000 fans per home game.
In 2011-12, Hakstol led an injury-depleted team to an unprecedented third consecutive Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA Final Five champions and was named Inside College Hockey’s National Coach of the Year. With eight players missing 110 games due to injury, UND was forced to dress fewer than 18 skaters on 14 occasions, yet went 11-3 in those games, earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA West Regional, and advanced to the regional championship game for the sixth time in eight years.
In the classroom, senior Brad Eidsness was named 2011-12 WCHA Most Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year while also receiving postgraduate scholarships from the WCHA and NCAA.
Hakstol, 35 years old when he was named UND’s head men’s hockey coach on July 9, 2004, is just the 15th head men’s hockey coach in school history and only the program’s fourth head coach in the past 44 years. Hakstol, who wore the Kelly Green and White from 1989-92, is also just the fifth former UND player to also become head coach at North Dakota.
Hakstol joined rare company when he took UND to the Frozen Four in his first four seasons as a collegiate head coach, joining Jack Parker and Doug Woog as the only three coaches to accomplish that feat.
In Hakstol’s first season (2004-05) as head coach, he led a team with nine seniors to the Frozen Four. In his second season (2005-06), he led a team with 13 freshmen and just two seniors to the Frozen Four.
In his third season, Hakstol took UND to the Frozen Four yet again, and sophomore forward Ryan Duncan won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the best player in college hockey.
In 2007-08, his fourth season, Hakstol led UND to a 28-11-4 overall record and 18-7-3 WCHA mark (second place).
UND went 24-15-4 overall and 17-7-4 in conference play in 2008-09 en route to its WCHA-leading 14th league championship. Hakstol was also recognized as WCHA Coach of the Year for the first time in his career.
In 2009-10, Hakstol and UND added another piece of hardware to the program’s championship lore with a Broadmoor Trophy as the WCHA Final Five champions, the second Broadmoor Trophy of Hakstol’s distinguished tenure. Hakstol led UND to a 25-13-5 overall record and a 15-10-3 WCHA mark, landing an eighth straight NCAA postseason appearance.
In 2010-11, Hakstol led UND to a second MacNaughton Cup in three years as WCHA champions, giving UND an NCAA men’s hockey-leading 15 conference titles. UND also won its second straight Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA playoff champions. In the process, Hakstol’s squad turned in the third-winningest season (32 wins) in the program’s illustrious history.
Three of Hakstol’s players garnered All-America honors in 2010-11: forward Matt Frattin (first team), defenseman Chay Genoway (first team) and goalie Aaron Dell (second team). Frattin, who led the nation with 36 goals, was also a Hobey Baker Award ‘Hobey Hat Trick’ finalist and the WCHA Player of the Year. He would debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada that same season. Genoway was named the WCHA’s Most Outstanding Student-Athlete, while Dell won a school-record 30 games, toppling a 24-year-old record previously held by Hockey Hall of Famer Ed Belfour.
The trademark of North Dakota hockey during Hakstol’s tenure has been UND’s ability to play its best hockey at the most crucial time of the year – in the playoffs.
During his first nine years, Hakstol has led UND to an overall postseason record of 45-18 (.714) that includes a 32-10 WCHA playoff record and 13-9 NCAA playoff mark. UND’s 45 combined NCAA and conference playoff wins the last nine seasons were 15 more than any other WCHA team during that time.
UND has also furthered its reputation for doing an outstanding job in preparing players for professional hockey careers and careers beyond hockey. Last season, more than 50 products of the program played professionally, including 13 who played in the National Hockey League. Among the 13 was former All-American Jonathan Toews, who captained the Chicago Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup in the last four years.
In the last seven seasons alone, 12 of Hakstol’s former UND players have debuted the NHL the year after completing their collegiate careers, including Chay Genoway (2011-12), Brad Malone (2011-12), Matt Frattin (2010-11), Chris VandeVelde (2010-11), T.J. Oshie (2008-09), Chris Porter (2008-09), Taylor Chorney (2008-09), Brian Lee (2007-08), Brock Nelson (2012-13), Matt Smaby (2007-08), Drew Stafford (2006-07) and Travis Zajac (2004-06).
In 2007-08, Toews made the jump directly to the Blackhawks after playing two years at UND. He was a finalist for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year Award and in the summer of 2008 was named the captain of the Blackhawks, becoming the third-youngest captain in NHL history. Toews was 20 years and 79 days old when he assumed the role as Chicago’s captain. In 2010, Toews led the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 49 years, capturing Conn Smythe Trophy honors as playoff MVP in the process. Earlier that same year, Toews led Canada to a gold medal at the Olympics in Vancouver and was named the tournament’s top forward.
In the last nine seasons, 40 UND players have been selected in the NHL Entry Draft, including an NCAA-leading six players in 2013. Seven of Hakstol’s players have been drafted in the first round: Jordan Schmaltz (25th overall, 2012), Derek Forbort (15th overall, 2010), Brock Nelson (30th overall, 2010), Jonathan Toews (3rd overall, 2006), Brian Lee (9th overall, 2005), T.J. Oshie (24th overall, 2005) and Joe Finley (27th overall, 2005).
UND men’s hockey players are also outstanding students. Last season, 11 players earned WCHA All-Academic honors, including three who were named WCHA Scholar-Athletes. In 2010-11, a school-record 16 student-athletes were named to the WCHA All-Academic team. In all, 97 of Hakstol’s players have been named to the WCHA All-Academic Team and 25 have been chosen WCHA Scholar-Athletes. In 2008-09, junior defenseman Chay Genoway, was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America third team.
In 2007-08, 10 UND men’s hockey players earned WCHA All-Academic honors, most in the league. In 2006-07, 11 UND players were named to the WCHA All-Academic team, tying for the WCHA league high.
Taking over a tradition-rich program that is synonymous with the word “excellence” was no small task, but Hakstol’s background prepared him for the challenge. Prior to taking over as UND’s head coach, the former Fighting Sioux captain was a member of Dean Blais’s coaching staff for four seasons and in that stint helped coach the program to a 101-47-19 (.662) overall record and 63-33-16 (.634) WCHA record.
During Hakstol’s four years under Blais, UND won two WCHA titles, made three NCAA appearances and finished as the 2001 national runnerup.
Named a UND assistant coach on July 1, 2000, Hakstol was elevated to associate head coach in December 2000, and he served as the team’s recruiting coordinator in his four seasons working under Blais.
Prior to joining the UND staff on July 1, 2000, Hakstol spent four seasons (1996-2000) as the general manager and head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League, posting winning seasons in his last three seasons. Overall, Hakstol had a 101-109-13 record with the Musketeers. He was named the USHL Coach of the Year in 1997-98, when he led Sioux City to a 32-21-3 record.
While coaching at Sioux City, Hakstol also coached the 1998 USA/USHL hockey team at the IIHF Four Nationals Cup in Oslo, Norway, and he was the head coach of the Central District team (USA Hockey) at the National Select 16 Festival in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1998.
Before beginning his coaching career, Hakstol played professional hockey with the IHL’s Minnesota Moose from 1994-96, serving as team captain for two years, and with the IHL’s Indianapolis Ice from 1992-1994, serving as team captain for one season. In five professional seasons, Hakstol played in 250 games, scoring 12 goals and recording 37 assists. He also accumulated 455 penalty minutes.
As a defenseman on the UND hockey team from 1989-92, Hakstol was a three-year letterwinner and served as team captain from 1990 to 1992. He played in 107 games for UND, scoring 10 goals and adding 36 assists for 46 points. He had 77 penalties for 191 minutes.
Hakstol and his wife, Erinn, have two children: daughter Avery and son Brenden.
Dave Hakstol's Coaching Record at UND:
|| NCAA Tourn.
|| Reg. Semi.
|| Reg. Semi.
* - indicates WCHA Coach of the Year
Years at UND: 10th
NCAA Appearances: 9
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: 5
NCAA Championship Appearances: 1
WCHA Final Five Appearances: 8
WCHA Final Five Championships: 4
WCHA Final Five Championship Appearances: 5
WCHA MacNaughton Cup Championships: 2