Denver associate coach Miller takes USHL job with expansion Madison franchise

Denver associate head coach Steve Miller has been named the first general manager and head coach of the United States Hockey League’s new expansion franchise in Madison, Wis.

Miller will start with the unnamed program on Jan. 1, 2014, and the team will start play in the USHL with the 2014-15 season.

“We interviewed dozens of qualified coaches, but Steve stood out amongst them all,” said Madison co-owner Tom Garrity in a statement. “His resume speaks for itself and we were very impressed with his vision and plan for Madtown Hockey. He is a Wisconsin native who is very familiar with the USHL and knows what it takes to put a winning product onto the ice.”

Miller is a native of Sun Prairie, Wis., and has spent the last 20 years as an assistant and associate head coach with the DU program.

“After 19 tremendous years, I am leaving the University of Denver and hockey program to be the new head coach and general manager of the Madison organization’s return to the United States Hockey League,” Miller said in a news release. “My wife, Heidi, and I would like to thank Ron Grahame, Peg Bradley-Doppes and the entire DU family for their support and friendship over the years. I would also like to thank Jim Montgomery for his belief, trust and support over the past seven months — it has meant the world to my family and me.

“Also my mentor and friend, George Gwozdecky, took a chance on me as a graduate assistant at Miami University back in 1991. I will forever be grateful to him for allowing me to grow as a person and develop as a coach. I have been fortunate to be involved with the greatest program in college hockey. The friendships of current and former players, staff and families remind me that DU will remain close to my heart and is a place that I will cherish forever.”

Montgomery called Miller’s departure “bittersweet.”

“We are happy that Steve is finally getting a well-deserved opportunity to be a head coach and run his own program, but saddened to be losing such a great person, coach, and recruiter,” added Montgomery. “Steve is a huge part of the tremendous success here over the last 20 years and has recruited and developed not only great hockey players, but student-athletes that represented Denver hockey with class on and off the ice. We wish Coach Miller all the success in the world and know that he will always be a Pioneer.”