Sunday, March 9, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Jim Montgomery says he was never asked to pursue the hockey coaching job at the University of Maine – the school he led to an NCAA title – so off to Denver he goes.
JIm Naprstek/Dubuque Fighting Saints
Denver Athletic Director Ron Grahame was struck by Montgomery's sincerity. Montgomery didn't try to oversell himself. When he was offered the job and said he had to return to Dubuque, Grahame gave him his blessing.
"We expected that," said Grahame. "That's who he is and that why we wanted him."
That Montgomery is in Denver and not Orono will sting Maine hockey fans for a while. Especially those who revered Shawn Walsh, the coach who led Maine to the 1993 and 1999 titles.
Montgomery can't say he would have gone after the Maine job if he was asked. As a private university, Denver has resources Maine can't match. Beautiful facility, great location and a strong tradition. At Denver, Montgomery doesn't have to rebuild a broken program from the ground up.
"I would have liked to be part of the process at Maine," said Montgomery. He wasn't asked, he's living a different moment and that's too bad.
He was a teammate to Paul Kariya, the talented freshman who fed him the passes that led to those three goals in 1993. Both were Hobey Baker finalists. Kariya won the recognition but Montgomery won the hearts of Maine fans the next day.
He wishes Maine well.
Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at email@example.com