University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Tom Buning has announced the hiring of Brian Idalski as head coach of the Fighting Sioux women’s hockey team, effective immediately.
Idalski will be formally introduced to the media at a news conference on Thursday, April 12 at 3 p.m. in the main lobby of the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Idalski spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant coach with St. Cloud State University’s women’s hockey program, where his primary responsibilities included coaching the defensemen, scouting opponents and overseeing all aspects of recruiting.
Prior to that, Idalski enjoyed a highly successful five-year tenure as head women’s hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he amassed a 108-21-11 (.811) record and was a four-time finalist as American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) National Coach of the Year.
Idalski guided UW-Stevens Point to an NCAA Division III runner-up finish in 2003-04, a third-place national finish in 2005-06 and a national quarterfinal finish in 2004-05. He led the Pointers to three Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) regular season championships (2002, 2005, 2006) and four NCHA playoff titles (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006) and was twice named NCHA Coach of the Year (2002, 2005).
“I’m very excited to hand the reins of the women’s hockey program over to Brian and let him take charge,” said Buning. “He is a proven winner at the women’s collegiate level and a proven program builder. His recruiting expertise in evaluating WCHA-caliber players will be essential to taking our program to the next level.”
“We’re happy to welcome Brian and his family to Grand Forks and UND Athletics.”
Said Idalski: “I appreciate the support of the committee and athletic director Tom Buning in choosing me to lead this program. I am looking forward to its challenges and I am excited for the opportunity to create a culture of winning and a tradition of excellence with the UND women’s hockey program.”
During his time at UW-Stevens Point, Idalski tutored three All-Americans, six Academic All-Americans and 17 All-NCHA selections.
Brian Idalski FileIn 2005-06, his final year at UW-Stevens Point, the Pointers went 21-5-4 overall and 11-1-3 during league play and advanced to the Division III Frozen Four for the second time in three years, where they finished third.
During 2004-05, the Pointers posted a 22-3-1 record and became the first team to finish the NCHA regular season undefeated as Idalski was named the league’s coach of the year for the second time in his career.
In 2003-04, just his third year at the helm, the Pointers finished 19-7-2 and played one of the nation’s strongest schedules, taking on six of the top eight teams in the country. Currently, UW-Stevens Point is still the only West Region team to reach the Division III NCAA National Title game, falling 2-1 to host Middlebury (Vt.).
Being named the NCHA Coach of the Year after his first year as head coach with the Pointers, Idalski also earned NCHA regular season and playoff titles after finishing 20-5-2 in 2002-03 and 26-1 in 2001-02.
A four-year letterwinner at UW-Stevens Point from 1991-1995, Idalski was a member of the Pointers’ NCAA Division III runner-up team in 1992 and was a sophomore on the 1993 Division III national championship team. In 97 career games as a defenseman, he tallied five goals and 20 assists.
Following his Pointer playing days, Idalski went on to play professional hockey for two years with the Madison Monsters of the United Hockey League from 1995-1997. He then played two seasons with the Columbus (Ga.) Cottonmouths of the Central Hockey League from 1997-1999, and won the 1998 CHL regular season and playoff championship. After his professional playing days, Idalski spent the 1999-2000 season as the full-time assistant coach with the Cottonmouths.
Idalski has also been involved for several years as an instructor at the USA Hockey National Development Camps and other instructional hockey camps throughout North America.
A Warren, Mich., native, Idalski his wife, Nicole, have four sons, Beau, Jason, David and Mitchel.