David Carle is officially the ninth head coach of the University of Denver Pioneers hockey program.
“The University of Denver is really special to me,” Carle said. “Ten years ago I was given the opportunity to come here and study and learn by the university honoring my scholarship. I am forever grateful for former Vice Chancellor Peg Bradley-Doppes, Ron Grahame and George Gwozdecky for coming to that decision. Today, this institution has afforded me another wonderful opportunity to be its next head hockey coach. I will again, do everything I can in my privilege and my power to make the university proud. I feel extremely honored and privilege to take on this challenge.”
As announced on Friday, May 25, Carle was named the Richard and Kitzia Goodman Head Coach and formally introduced on Tuesday, May 29 alongside Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Karlton Creech and Director of Athletics Ron Grahame.
“Denver is one of the very best college hockey programs in the United States and what privilege it is to have gone through this process to find the next coach that will continue that legacy of excellence,” Creech said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s one of DU’s own and it is David Carle.”
Carle served the previous four-and-a-half seasons from 2014-2018 as an assistant coach for the Pioneers under former head coach Jim Montgomery.
“Let’s face it, coach Montgomery was very successful in the five years that he was here,” Grahame said. “He was very demanding. I think David learned from that expectation. I think he’s going to be able to be successful as a head coach because of that somewhat crucible that he’s been through. I know he’s going to do a good job because he is a quality young man and a quality person. He’s going to be a very successful Denver Pioneer head coach.”
Following Montgomery’s departure to become a head coach in the NHL to the Dallas Stars, Carle received the promotion at just 28-years of age making him the youngest active coach in NCAA Division l hockey.
“It is what it is,” Carle said. “I think I’m prepared here in this moment because of the experience that I’ve had. Age is a number.”
Carle is an alum of the University of Denver and the Pioneer hockey program. The Anchorage, Alaska native was originally recruited by Denver to play hockey but was forced to retire from hockey in July of 2008 after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Carle was still selected by Tampa Bay in Round 7 (203rd Overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
“We talked to a lot of people about the position,” Grahame said. “Some with significant experience and success, but in the long run, we’ve hired an alum. We’ve hired somebody who wants to be at Denver. Somebody that has a great pedigree. And somebody that’s going to do a really great job because they want to be a Pioneer.”
Despite the abrupt end to his hockey career, Carle remained a member of Denver hockey and served as an assistant coach from 2008-2012 before graduating in 2012.
Carle was then an assistant coach in the USHL for the Greenbay Gamblers from 2012-2014. Carle helped the Gamblers to a 37-23-4 record in a season-and-a-half and to a second place finish in Eastern Conference during the 2012-2013 season.
As a member of Montgomery’s staff, Carle helped the Pioneers to a 115-51-23 record, a 66-32-14-8 mark in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), one (1) NCHC regular-season title, two (2) NCHC Frozen Faceoff titles, five (5) NCAA Tournament appearances, two (2) Frozen Four appearances and the 2017 National Championship. Carle was also a critical component in Denver’s recruiting process.
“I would also like to recognize Jim Montgomery,” Carle said. “I have learned a great deal from Jim over the last five years. I would simply not be ready for this position without his guidance. We will always have our friendship and many great memories here at Denver. I wish Jim the best of luck in Dallas.”
Carle both recognizes and embraces the challenge ahead of him to continue the excellence and tradition of Pioneer hockey. With the premature departures of star players like; Troy Terry, Henrik Borgstrom and Dylan Gambrell, Carle looks forward to the task ahead of appending onto previous successes with the current and incoming talent.
“Denver is a great place to work and to have success,” Carle said. “We are very well supported and we’re proud to have the great tradition of Denver hockey. We will continue to develop student-athletes to the best of our ability and the best of their ability on and off the ice. We’ll do everything with a team-first mentality and we’ll play with the relentless style that our fans have become accustomed to here in Denver. I can’t wait to get started.”