David Carle Introduced as DU’s New Hockey Coach
Carle becomes the ninth head coach in program history
Ask David Carle what he thinks about being the youngest active head coach in college hockey and he’ll tell you age is just a number.
On Tuesday, the 28-year-old was introduced as the Richard and Kitzia Goodman Head Coach of the DU hockey team. He takes over for Jim Montgomery, who earlier this month was named head coach of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. For the past four-and-a-half seasons, the Anchorage, Alaska, native has served as an assistant coach with the Pioneers.
“I have learned a great deal from Jim over the last five years, and I would simply not be ready for this position without his guidance,” Carle says. “We will always have our friendship, many great memories here that we built together in Denver. He will always be a Pioneer.”
Those memories include one National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) regular season title, two NCHC Frozen Faceoff titles, five NCAA Tournament appearances, two Frozen Four appearances and the 2017 National Championship.
Carle first came to the University of Denver ten years ago, recruited to play for the Pioneers. However, he never had the opportunity to lace up his skates. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, best known as a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. His playing career was over at the age of 18, but his coaching career was just getting started. The Pioneers honored the scholarship he had been offered, and Carle joined the program as a student-coach. With the exception of a two year stint as an assistant head coach in the United States Hockey League, Carle has spent his entire coaching career with DU.
“The University of Denver is really special to me,” Carle says. “I did not think I would be sitting here 10 years ago. I knew when I came here I was going to have a great opportunity, that this is a great school. I just tried to make the most of it. The more I grew in my four years here as a student, the more I knew that I wanted to be a hockey coach.”
DU’s familiarity with Carle helped immensely when deciding who would replace Montgomery. Karlton Creech, vice chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations, says the decision went beyond just finding someone who has a great deal of experience and success in the sport.
“The thing that stood out the most for me, he has impeccable character and his values represent exactly what we want DU to be,” Creech says. “They don’t come much better than David Carle. He’s a great person, and that will translate into recruiting student-athletes, coaching student-athletes, connecting with alums and connecting with the community.”
The first-time head coach is not naïve to think that he knows everything there is to know about his new role. He says he will rely on the other coaches on his staff and his experiences from the past five years. One thing he appears to have learned well came when Montgomery, who was in attendance for the introductory news conference, asked Carle if he anticipates yelling at the referees as much as his predecessor?
Carle’s answer came quickly: “Someone’s got to do it.”