Friday, the University of North Dakota announced that associate head coach Dave Hakstol has been named interim head coach in the wake of Dean Blais’ departure for the NHL.
Hakstol, a 1992 graduate of UND and former hockey captain, has head coaching experience with the USHL’s Sioux City franchise — where he was the league’s 1997-98 Coach of the Year — and is presumably a candidate for the permanent head coaching position as well. He has been a member of the Sioux’s coaching staff for four years.
At the same time, the school announced that assistant coach Brad Berry has been appointed interim associate head coach. Berry, a former Sioux icer as well, played professionally with the Winnipeg Jets and the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchises.
Blais, winner of two national championships during his tenure at North Dakota, left his head coaching position to become associate head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
UND athletic director Roger Thomas said a search for Blais’ permanent replacement will begin immediately. Thomas, Blais, Hakstol and Berry will address the media at an 11 a.m. CT press conference Saturday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.