St. Cloud State University Director of Athletics Dr. Morris Kurtz has announced the appointment of Jeff Giesen as the head women’s hockey coach.
A native of Blaine, Minn., Giesen becomes the third head coach since the inception of the women’s program in 1998. He replaces Jason Lesteberg, who served as head coach at SCSU from 2002-2006.
“Obviously we have gotten to know Jeff well over the last several years,” said Kurtz. “We feel that first and foremost he is committed to bringing in student-athletes that will excel on the ice and in the classroom. He has also demonstrated the ability to evaluate and recruit student-athletes that will help take our program to the next level.”
Giesen served as the SCSU assistant women’s hockey coach from 2003-2006, working with the Huskies’ defensive players and recruiting. He came to SCSU from Saint John’s University, where he was an assistant coach from 1992-98 and an associate head coach from 1998-2003. The Johnnies prospered during Giesen’s tenure, winning Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles in 1996, 1997 and 2003, as well as playoff titles and NCAA Division III national tournament appearances in 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003. The Johnnies, whose head coach is former St. Cloud State assistant John Harrington, finished third in the national tournament in 1997.
In addition to his experience at Saint John’s, Giesen has worked extensively with the USA Hockey Development program. His most recent work was with the girls 15/16 camp in Lake Placid this past summer. Giesen has also worked with the girls’ 17/18 camp in Lake Placid, along with numerous USA Hockey boys’ programs.
In 2005, Giesen served as the assistant coach for the women’s WCHA All-Stars who played against the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team. He assisted Wisconsin women’s head hockey coach Mark Johnson at the Xcel Center on Sept. 30th, and in Duluth at the DECC on Oct. 1st. Of note, Giesen has now had the opportunity to coach under two 1980 Olympic Hockey Gold Medalists, Harrington at Saint John’s and Johnson with the WCHA All-Stars.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to start my head coaching career at a school that’s meant so much to me over the past 19 years,” said Giesen. “I appreciate the support that SCSU provides the women’s hockey program and look forward to helping SCSU become one of the top teams in the WCHA, the most successful conference in the nation.”
The Huskies are coming off their most successful season in school history after posting an 18-18-1 overall record and a 13-14-1 record in the WCHA.
A 1993 graduate of St. Cloud State University, Giesen and his wife Karla reside in St. Cloud, Minn., with their daughter Delaney.