David Carle officially introduced as Denver’s ninth head coach

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.”

58 thoughts on “David Carle officially introduced as Denver’s ninth head coach”

  1. I love his last sentence: “we will continue the relentless style”. That’s all I need to hear.
    I was extremely worried about Miller and his methodical defense style.

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  2. “Age is a number.” Yes, age is quantified with a number. But age is also indicative of experience, which is the risk with this hire. Anyway…good luck to Carle. I wish him the best, and I hope that DU will be able to retain those recruits!

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  3. There would have been risk with anyone who was hired… As proven in the past.

    David deserves a shot at the top. I, for one, believe he will surround himself with great assistants and hire to his weaknesses.

    The doubters will be surprised.

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  4. Monty is a tough act to follow for any coach, as was Gwozdecky. Both were great coaches and got mostly great results, so there is much to build on. The good thing about Carle is that he had a front row seat as to the potential weaknesses of both coaches (all coaches have them), and I’m sure he has had 10 years to think about what to keep from those guys and what he might tweak if he was the head man.

    The big Monty things to ‘keep’ are obvious – the ‘proscess’, uber-detailed preparation, the relentless puck pursuit style based on speed and skill, the balanced recruiting of USA, Canada and Europe, the teaching and mentoring of young athletes and the fresh, candid media style of saying insightful things instead of coach-speak.

    Yet there are three Monty observations that I might want to tweak if I were Carle.

    1) Recruiting Loyalty- In the last couple of years, DU was getting a bit of a bad rap around college hockey for stealing/parking recruits and discarding them when better recruits were available. I’m old fashioned, but I’d like to see DU get a bit more of its honor back by being a bit more loyal to its commits and not getting a rep for tampering or discarding guys. Find and sign the guys you want and show them more loyalty. That will get better players over the long run, and keep recruits from thinking that DU might not care about them or toss them aside just because they like someone better. I know some guys don’t develop as projected and better guys become available, but DU needs to balance this a bit better, IMHO. I don’t want to see DU become untrustworthy in recruiting circles.

    2) Quick Goalie Hook – Monty often pulled goalies after letting in softies. I wonder about long term confidence of those goalies. I say pull them when they are getting shelled.

    3) Don’t throw your guys under the bus in public – Monty questioned the character of his team in public last year. I’m sure it a mind game tactic was to light a bigger fire under them and get them to show more urgency, but I think that tactic might be better suited to a pro team than a college one. I’d rather a DU coach back his guys in public and then rip them in private if they need to be ripped.

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  5. El Swambo,

    I agree with you on no.1 but not the next two.
    When a goalie freezes :up you don’t have the luxury of waiting. Gwoz also pulled after seeing the same
    The same with 3.
    Gwoz would say things like “I can’t figure these guys out” or similar.
    it wasn’t throwing them under the bus it was simply stating facts.

    Instead of “coach speak” candid speak is better.

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  6. Gwoz was smooth. Monty was sort of smooth, but not nearly as smooth as Gwoz. Carle will not be so smooth to start. But give him time, and his smoothiness will increase. Gwoz is certainly the coolest and smoothest of the three. I submit that Gwoz’s coach speak was more entertaining than Monty’s straight talk.

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  7. Yes – Gwoz was so smooth and buttoned-down – they very definition of Canadian reserve, with a heavy reliance on coach-speak, very much in the Bill Bellchick style. Gwoz’ brother. Mark, is a high-ranking Canadian Government Minister/Diplomat. I think George must have learned a lot about diplomacy from his brother… The smoothness of Gwoz was also a bit frustrating, considering that he is also a very funny guy and a GREAT storyteller, but he only showed that side of his personality rarely in public. One of the Best Gwoz stories I’ve ever heard him tell was his description of the ‘Cher Suite’ at the Holiday Inn in Grand Forks…

    As a fan, I’ll take Monty’s straight talk anytime, as raw is it sometimes is. Monty, also a Canadian, also got smoother over his five years at DU, but he always been carried a bit of that Montreal street fighter at heart, probably a gift from his father, who boxed for Canada in the 1956 Olympics. Monty could also spin a yarn or two, and could hold court a lot like Shawn Walsh, his old coach at Maine.

    Anyway, they are two of the three greatest coaches in DU history and we miss them both.

    Carle will need some time to grow into his role. He’s going to probably err on the side of caution, as any 28 year old would in his position, but I have no doubts that he’ll get more and more comfortable as he wins.

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    1. I’d like to know if Dave remains in contact with Gwoz, and if the 2 of them talked about this opportunity for David. I can’t imagine they didn’t or don’t.

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    2. Good stuff, Swami. 2 of the best ever at DU. Pretty easy to rank the best in the order of Armstrong, Gwoz, and Monty. Monty did a lot in his short time at DU, but I feel like we got to know Gwoz a lot better. Gwoz has the attributes that you mention, but I still preferred his personality over Monty’s. Plus, Gwoz gets 1000 extra points for his walk across the ice at North Dakota. I can’t remember if David Carle was at DU at that time. I suspect not.

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  8. Someone help me understand this. The announcement is made on Friday 5/25, press conference is on Tuesday 5/29, no updated story on DU’s website after the press conference, no splash page announcing the new coach. To me this is another display of ineptness and being a sleep at the wheel. What sort of ass clowns do they have running communications and external relations over there?

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    1. Not a word of his hiring or press conference on the Denver Pioneer Facebook page, which has 5,000 more likes than the Denver Hockey page. Only announcement on Denver Pioneers Facebook Tuesday was a top 20 finish for Women’s Lacrosse. Bravo DU, your marketing team has outdone themselves yet again!

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    2. The whole thing was over in about 12 minutes, and you’re right about the lack of promotion of the event, before and after. The press conference was more of a perfunctory business meeting-as-coronation than a press EVENT. I’m sure from DU’s standpoint, that’s the way they wanted it to go, but it felt somewhat flat to these eyes. They could have made the presser more of an event – band, cheerleaders, etc., or at least making Carle available on social media to answer fan questions, etc. I think they also missed the opportunity to invite students, season ticket holders and fans to a post-event reception to meet the new coach.

      And part of that flatness wasn’t DU’s fault – it was the media’s fault for not asking really good questions. The media didn’t even bother to ask the obvious (at least to me) question about how Carle might be different from Montgomery, which was a disappointing missed opportunity… Nor did they follow up with Carle about what he is really looking for in his upcoming assistant coaching hire, nor did anyone really push Ron Grahame very much on the other coaching candidates and the hiring process. It seemed like the media just rolled along with the DU narrative, which is great if you are DU, but not so great if you wanted a deeper look into DU or Carle’s thinking/plans.

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      1. has kreech hired a marketing director yet? if not, clearly that should be the next move now that they have a hockey coach

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  9. Does anyone know if Ryan O’Reilly is playing with us this year? I’ve heard mixed answers to that. Lately, I’ve heard he was considering, but he is slated for 2019.

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  10. Why does Marketing/Event Promotion not improve? I feel like there is no accountability over the years. DU is clearly ok with being very sub-par in this area. Nothing will change until they get some fresh blood in there.

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    1. I don’t think DU sees this as a priority. DU fired its last senior marketing director (Dave Madsen) in 2009 as part of a departmental cost-cutting move. He was never replaced.

      Erich Bacher, DU’s last senior-level Sports Information Director, left DU in 2012 for the University of Virginia. He was not directly replaced either, and DU has hired a number of junior level and lesser-paid associate/assistant SIDs since then to split the load. They may or may not have saved money on that decision, but they certainly lost some senior leadership.

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  11. Definitely seems like they’re all over the map on social media from one year to the next, would be nice to have some consistency on that front…

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  12. Going cheap on Marketing will be costly long-term, especially when lacrosse and hockey aren’t dominating on the field/ice.

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  13. Very low pr/marketing emphasis since Kevin Carroll came aboard in 2011. Since then, a succession of inept “communications” chiefs … exhibit one is the du.edu website redesign with the unreadable fonts. The university’s leaders do not care. Notice how little DU is mentioned in the news of late. Used to see a DU professor speaking as an expert on TV news every other night.

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  14. Maybe if this blog makes enough noise, they’ll do something about the lack of marketing talent there. 30 minutes after yesterday’s post about no Carle announcement on Denver Pioneers Facebook, a video of his introductory press conference shows up on the page!

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  15. Peter Mannino just signed on as associate head coach at Miami.
    I was hoping we could get him here to help out Carle.
    He loved D.U.

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    1. I got to watch Petey a lot with the Chicago Steel, because my friends kid was on thier championship team a couple years back. A real treat, after I watched him play goalie for 4 years in Magness. He’s really matured and came into his own …. as evidence by his new Miami job. Us Pio fans can be proud of old Manno. Only thing now is, when he comes back to Magness , he will be here to kick our ass ……. and he just might lolol

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  16. I hope and almost expect that Mannino will be back at DU someday. Smart and personable guy, and one of the best goalies in DU history. In 2005…that guy was amazing. DU should keep him on their radar.

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  17. Skinner just took an assistant coaching job working for former CC coach Scott Owens in Sioux Falls in the USHL. His wife is a dentist in Sioux Falls, SD and is from there originally, so if DU were to go after him, the ‘extraction” might be more difficult. (pardon the pun).

    Gauthier coaches lower level junior hockey in Las Vegas. Coming back to DU could be career booster for him – not sure what his family situation is or whether he likes it there.

    What I like about those two potential hires is that both guys have played NHL hockey as well as minor league hockey.

    Arnold is certainly the biggest “Pioneer for life” of the modern era, and his enthusiasm and current USHL coaching skills would be helpful. His only downside in my eyes is the lack of an NHL playing connection.

    A few other names that could be in play may be inferred from Carle’s wedding web site, where his listed groomsmen are his brother Matt (Hobey Baker winner at DU with a 10+ year NHL career , his brother Alex (1 year left at Merrimack), Ben Youds (Carle’s former high school teammate at Shattuck St. Marys (Minn.) Prep who played at Minnesota State- Mankato and is still playing in Europe, former Pioneer defenseman John Lee (who played in the minors after DU) and Joe Colborne, the DU first rounder who has played for years in the NHL until the Avalanche sent him to the AHL last year…

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  18. Won’t Joe Howe be a candidate for promotion? He was mentioned by name at the press conference and has been with the program for 3-4 years now.

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  19. The ECHL/AHL switch taking place up in Loveland should factor in to all this somehow. How ….. I don’t know; but it should.

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  20. Stick a fork in the Pios! I can’t believe that DU didn’t go with someone with NHL experience. It was fun while it lasted, but the slide to mediocrity is here.

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  21. Maybe not this year; but at some point I would like to see DC continue using the “Volunteer Student-Assistant Coach” role for another young man out there, if such a person comes in to light…. much like George did for Dave in the beginning. It’s a tremendous opportunity for someone who didn’t make the team for whatever reason; but still brings a great skill set to DC’s office, which can be used for the betterment of the whole team. But – it’s got to be someone special ; not just anybody ………

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  22. Well, The B1g Spartans released thier full portfolio today; No Colorado teams on the menu… so after the last two years – y’all can cross MSU off…..

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  23. Steven Reinprecht named volunteer assistant. Interesting. Also interesting about Dayton Rasmussen. Not surprising due to Filip Larsson, but Larsson will probably only play 2 years or so with us. Does anyone know if Ryan O’Reilly is coming in this year?

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    1. Jonathan Mor is still uncommitted as far as goaltenders go. He’s from the Chicago area so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him join DU if Dayton bolted.

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    2. That’s 2 years in a row a good goalie has bolted (munson in 2017, rasmussen in 2018), hopefully this isnt a trend that continues… depth at this position is key as we learned with cowley/jaillet.

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  24. Reinprecht is a great addition to the staff. Anytime you can add a Stanley Cup winner and 11-year NHLer to your group for nothing, it’s a cool thing. I wish he was the full-time assistant rather than the volunteer assistant, but Reino probably has enough money now to be more choosy about how he spends his time. As a volunteer, he comes and goes as he pleases, doesn’t need to travel or recruit away from home, etc.

    As for Rasmussen, he was not at all impressive in his limited action at DU last season (a terrible saves percentage), so it would not surprise me if he went looking for greener pastures…With Larsson coming in this year, he may feel he’d have a better chance to play elsewhere. Transfers are up in virtually all college sports. The huge investment of time (and often, money) that athletes (and families) make to get their kids to an elite level is fostering a culture where those players who are sitting on the bench are often no longer content to do so for very long.

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  25. Unrelated I guess; but bench boss Doug Weight was let go from the Islanders; so he’s free. He’s a Stanley Cup winner and also attended a few years at LSSU. However I’m seeing that he’s not interested in going elsewhere. Time for family now after a long stories playing and coaching career. He was a huge advocate for NCAA draftees for many years. He had a hand in Scott Mayfield going to New York

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    1. Rumor is that he may be speaking with Jeff Gorton and David Quinn about an Associate Coach spot with the New York Rangers.

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  26. It’s pretty great that staff of this blog feel it necessary to remove posts, even though they claim they don’t. I see the post regarding the email addresses for Angel Field and Brandon MacNeill has been removed, even though that information is already public information on DU Athletics website.

    I am sure 5B West had something to do with that, of course it’s unbecoming……no wonder no one reads this slop of a blog.

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    1. Don’t know anything specific, but I am hearing that heavy coaching experience seems to be the big priority in terms of the guys they are going after right now…we will see where they end up…

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    1. Seems like he’s gone because we just received a commitment from Mike Corson, who played in the BCHL, to be our third string goaltender this year…

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