Guentzel resigns as men’s hockey assistant

Brian Deutsch

Mike Guentzel, who has been behind the Minnesota men’s hockey bench for 14 years, resigned Friday to pursue other coaching opportunities.

“I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to play here four years and coach here for 14 years,” Guentzel said. “The Gopher program has been and always will be number one in my heart. I’ve had wonderful hard-working guys to work with and made a lot of friends here. That’s just something you can’t replace.”

A Gophers skater from 1982-1985, Guentzel returned to Minnesota after two different head coaching stints in the USHL ñ where he was named Coach of the Year in 1991.

“Although I respect his decision to leave, the Gopher hockey program will miss him,” head coach Don Lucia said. “I want to personally thank Mike for all he did for me and the program and wish Mike and his family all the best in the future.”

Guentzel primarily worked with the Gophers defense and helped develop five All-Americans including 2002 Hobey Baker Award winner Jordan Leopold.

He also was on staff for Minnesota’s back-to-back national championships in 2002 and 2003.

“Mike Guentzel has played a major role in the success of Gopher hockey over the years,” Lucia said. “He is an outstanding coach who helped in every phase of the program. He had great respect from the players and always brought passion to the job.”