Hakstol leaves North Dakota bench for same role with NHL’s Flyers; Berry named replacement

Dave Hakstol took North Dakota to the Frozen Four seven times in 11 seasons (photo: Melissa Wade).

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday morning that North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol has been named the team’s new head coach.

“Dave brings a wealth of head coaching experience and success to the Philadelphia Flyers organization,” said Philadelphia GM Ron Hextall in a statement. “He’s a proven winner and we are pleased to have him become part of the Flyers family.”

“I am extremely excited to be named the Philadelphia Flyers new head coach,” added Hakstol. “Through the process here with Ron [Hextall] and everybody in the Flyers organization, I have gained even more of an understanding of the history and tradition of this organization and I’m very proud to become part of the Philadelphia Flyers today.”

Hakstol also commended UND in a school-issued press release.

“I have spent the better part of my professional life with the University of North Dakota hockey program and every day of it has been a privilege,” said Hakstol. “I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from some of the best people in hockey and I’m lucky to be able to call them my friends. I want to thank the staff, players and fans who have helped make thissuch a special place for our family.”

North Dakota then announced at a Monday news conference that longtime assistant coach Brad Berry is the team’s new bench boss. This was reported earlier Monday by the Grand Forks Herald.

Hakstol spent the last 11 seasons at UND, compiling an overall record of 289-143-43. In 2014-15, he led North Dakota to a 29-10-3 record and a berth in the Frozen Four.

North Dakota made the NCAA tournament in every one of Hakstol’s 11 seasons and reached the Frozen Four seven times in that span, which is the most of any program in the country during that period.

He joined the school’s coaching staff in 2000 as an assistant coach, and took over the head coaching job four years later.

For Berry, who played at UND from 1983 to 1986 and has been an assistant during two stints (2000 through 2006 and again from 2012 through 2015), being named to replace Hakstol is a huge undertaking.

“I’m very humbled and honored to be the next head coach at the University of North Dakota,” said Berry in a statement. “Men like Dave Hakstol, Dean Blais and Gino Gasparini have put that foundation in place for the program to be as successful as it has been. Myself, as well as Coach [Dane] Jackson and the rest of our staff, plan on carrying that torch to keep the program at the highest level.”

“We are excited to have Brad take leadership of the UND men’s hockey program,” added UND director of athletics Brian Faison in a news release. “He is an effective recruiter, has an outstanding reputation as a teacher of the game, and brings a tremendous energy and passion to the position. His core values and his understanding of the unique culture that has made UND hockey so successful are the traits that make him the right coach to carry the program forward.”