Rensselaer has named Shawn Kurulak assistant men’s hockey coach. A former standout defenseman at the Denver, Kurulak will aide head coach Seth Appert. The announcement was made today by RPI director of athletics Ken Ralph.
“There is a lot of history and tradition at RPI and I look forward to being part of something special in Troy,” Kurulak said. “Seth is a great coach and I am very excited and honored that he asked me to be part of the staff.”
“We are very excited to have Shawn on our team,” said Appert. “He is a proven winner who consistently makes teams better. His intensity and competitiveness will be tremendous assets in the locker room, on the ice and as he is directing our recruiting efforts.”
Kurulak (pronounced KER-lack) comes to Rensselaer after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Army. Among his responsibilities with the Black Knights were recruiting, player development, especially with the defensemen, and coordinating video instruction. Army coach Brian Riley was named Atlantic Hockey Coach of the Year in 2005-06.
Prior to West Point, Kurulak led Fargo-Moorhead of the NAHL to a 33-21 record and a second-place finish in the West Division in 2003-04, the team’s first season in the Junior “A” hockey league. As the head coach, he was chiefly responsible for establishing the team’s infrastructure for team operations and recruiting and developing players.
Before heading the program in Fargo, N.D., Kurulak served for two seasons as an assistant at Bemidji State, where he was the team’s recruiting coordinator. He also developed and implemented game strategies as well as assisted with video analysis and strength and conditioning.
Kurulak, a native of Calgary, Alberta, spent one season as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, where he was an assistant with Appert, while also serving an internship with the Colorado Avalanche as their assistant video coach. He has also been an associate head coach at the Universal Players Tournament in Tampere, Finland.
A four-year letterwinner on the blueline for the Pioneers, Kurulak wore the alternate captain’s “A” for three seasons. A three-time WCHA All-Academic selection, he helped the team to the league championship as a senior. In 131 career games, he had 41 points (7 goals, 34 assists) and 268 penalty minutes. He also represented the WCHA on an all-star team that traveled to Switzerland for an international tournament in 1998.
Kurulak, who joins fellow assistant coach Jim Montgomery, graduated from Denver in 1999 with a BSBA in Finance/Marketing.