Below is a reprint of a LetsGoDU article published in October 2015 – the beginning of Montgomery’s second season at the helm. The Pioneers went on to multiple 20+ win seasons under coach Montgomery – culminating in this season’s national championship.
April 1st, 2013…It had to be an April Fools prank. George Gwozdecky fired after 19 years and two national championships along with a slew of 20 win seasons.
Fast forward to 2015 and season ticket sales are brisk. Students, fans, and alums feel a sense of optimism returning to University and Evans. We are embracing ‘our hockey team’ again and appreciate Coach Monty. These guys are good – and accessible, too.
There is no better person that helped us move on than Coach Gwozdecky. He tweets about DU and offers best wishes to his former DU team and coaching peers. He has even been spotted at Magness from time to time. He has moved from Tampa Bay back to Denver to take on another rebuilding project and who knows after that what is next for Coach Gwoz – maybe coaching his old University of Wisconsin or becoming the Dave Logan (Colorado football H.S. head coaching legend) of Denver high school hockey, ripping off 8-10 state championships in a row. He has a new rink to build at Valor Christian High – just like DU.
It feels to this writer that the dark cloud has lifted. Credit has to go to Coach Montgomery, too. He clearly understood the challenge of replacing a DU coaching legend. Instead of trying to be like George, he has been Jim. A good sense of humor, Canadian steadiness, and a fast break style of hockey that leaves Magness buzzing. He’s a Pioneer now. And this team just might be able to ‘do it’, too.
Coach Gwoz will always be a DU hockey legend, taking a stumbling hockey program, playing in an old Navy drill hall with a rainbow painted on the wall to an elite collegiate level and national champs. That was a great time and an incredible run.
It feels good to look forward.