Denver Assistant Miller Leaves for USHL Job
CHN Staff Report
Denver assistant coach Steve Miller, who has been with the Pioneers for 19-plus seasons, is leaving the program to become head coach and general manager of the USHL's expansion franchise in Madison (Wis.).
“We interviewed dozens of qualified coaches, but Steve stood out amongst them all,” said Madison co-owner Tom Garrity. “His resume speaks for itself and we were very impressed with his vision and plan for Madtown Hockey. He is a Wisconsin native who is very familiar with the USHL and knows what it takes to put a winning product onto the ice.”
The team will begin play in 2014-15.
Miller was retained as an assistant coach by Jim Montgomery after Montgomery replaced long-time coach George Gwozdecky. Miller was originally a graduate assistant for Gwozdecky at Miami, before the pair went together to Denver.
“My wife, Heidi, and I would like to thank Ron Grahame, Peg Bradley-Doppes and the entire DU family for their support and friendship over the years," Miller said. "I would also like to thank Jim Montgomery for his belief, trust and support over the past seven months — it has meant the world to my family and me.
“Also ... I will forever be grateful to (Gwozdecky) for allowing me to grow as a person and develop as a coach. I have been fortunate to be involved with the greatest program in college hockey.”
During his tenure at Denver, Miller helped lead the Pioneers to back-to-back National Championships in 2004 and 2005, three WCHA regular-season championships and four WCHA Final Five crowns. The Pioneers have averaged over 23 wins in Miller's initial 19 seasons, and have posted 20 wins in each of the last 12 seasons, which is the longest-such streak nationally entering the 2013-14 campaign.
“It is a bittersweet day for Pioneer Hockey,” Montgomery said. “We are happy that Steve is finally getting a well-deserved opportunity to be a head coach and run his own program, but saddened to be losing such a great person, coach, and recruiter. Steve is a huge part of the tremendous success here over the last 20 years and has recruited and developed not only great hockey players but Student Athletes that represented Denver Hockey with class on and off the ice.”