GRAND FORKS, N.D. — After taking the Fighting Sioux to three Frozen Fours in his first three seasons, the University of North Dakota on Tuesday signed men’s hockey coach Dave Hakstol to a five-year contract.
“We’re fortunate to have the stability for our program and the opportunity to focus on what we really need to do,” Hakstol said. “We have a season coming up, and we have to get down to work.”
Hakstol’s current contract is set to expire at the end of June next year. The new contract gives him a base salary of $210,000 a year, with incentives of up to 25 percent of the base if he and the team attain goals such as making the Frozen Four.
The contract also includes $50,000 annually in deferred compensation, and a total of $190,000 that Hakstol can split between his coaching staff, associate head coach Cary Eades and assistant coach Dane Jackson. They can earn up to 25 percent of that figure in incentives if they and the team meet certain goals.
“Most important for me and everybody involved, the new contract addresses the entire staff,” Hakstol said. “The day-to-day business of preparing and going through the next season — as well as recruiting aspect — was very important.
“In terms of recruiting, there’s a lot of early recruiting going on a year or two down the road. It adds stability for the young players to know who’s going to be on campus by the time they get there,” Hakstol explained.
Phil Harmeson, UND vice president for general administration, said the contract makes the coaching staff’s salaries competitive with the leading collegiate hockey programs in the nation. It was made possible in large part through hockey supporters who helped finance part of the salaries, he noted.
UND athletic director Tom Buning said, “This is an excellent package for UND Athletics and the hockey program. We’ve been working on this package for a while, the administration put on the finishing touches.”
Hakstol has coached UND’s men’s hockey team since July 2004 when he became the university’s 15th head coach. He replaced Dean Blais who left the university to become an assistant coach with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Hakstol played hockey at UND from 1989 to 1992 and served four years under Blais, first as an assistant coach and then as the associate head coach.