Earlier this spring, the Denver Pioneers learned that they were no longer going to be able to hold on to their championship-winning head coach, Jim Montgomery.
In an effort to move their team forward, the Dallas Stars had hired the Montreal native away from the NCAA program, leaving the head coaching position open for the first time since 2013.
Assistant coach David Carle was considered to be the favorite to take over behind the bench, but the team spent a few weeks doing their due diligence before making a formal announcement.
As expected, though, the coaching position will stay in the Pioneers family; with their announcement on Friday afternoon, Carle was confirmed as the ninth head coach in Denver men’s hockey history.
At just 28, Carle will become one of the youngest head coaches in the program’s history, joining Neil Celley in the under-30 crowd leading the way behind the bench. And he’s certainly going to be the youngest current head coach in the NCAA, which makes him stand out even more.
His resume is storied, though, despite his young age.
In high school, Carle - younger brother of long-time NHLer Matt Carle - had been a highly-sought after prospect.
At the scouting combine in 2008, though, he was diagnosed with previously-undetected hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (an abnormally thick heart muscle) and formally retired from the game. Although the Tampa Bay Lightning would select him 203rd overall regardless, he went on to serve as a student assistant coach for Denver during his four years at the school, only briefly heading out to coach for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers before coming back and taking up a formal, post-grad position with Denver once again.
From the official release:
“We are excited today to announce David Carle as the next head hockey coach at the University of Denver,” Creech said. “David was the very first person that I talked with about the job and after a thorough search process, David earned this opportunity. During the process, we received overwhelming positive support for David both internally and externally. His impeccable ethical reputation, intelligence, work ethic and strong relationship skills were the consistent themes in our evaluation. We look forward to many years of continued excellence in the hockey program under David’s leadership.”
Given that there were rumors swirling that the University of Alaska-Anchorage was courting his services as well (the Carle family is from Anchorage), this is awesome news for Denver. After helping the program to their 2017 championship - and a 115-51-23 record during his time with the program - there’s hope that keeping him on board will help the program continue with their success moving forward.