Jim Montgomery, the former University of Maine hockey star who was expected to be a top candidate to succeed Tim Whitehead as the Black Bears’ head coach, was hired Saturday by the University of Denver, according to numerous media reports.

Montgomery, 43, was one of the four finalists at Denver to replace George Gwozdecky, who was fired April 1 after 19 seasons. Montgomery has been the coach and general manager of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League for the last three seasons.

Montgomery is Maine’s all-time leading scorer with 301 points. The two-time All-American led the Black Bears to their first national championship in 1993, scoring three goals in the third period of the championship game as Maine rallied for a 5-4 victory against Lake Superior State.

Montgomery played a total of 122 NHL games for five teams during a 12-year professional career that ended in 2005. He has been an assistant coach at Notre Dame and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Denver has scheduled a news conference for Monday to introduce Montgomery.