Mike Guentzel
Mike  Guentzel

Marble, Minn.

Last College:

Associate Head Coach


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Mike Guentzel

Associate Head Coach Mike Guentzel

One of the nation’s top coaches, Mike Guentzel is in his second stint with the Gopher coaching staff.

Former Minnesota player and assistant coach Mike Guentzel rejoined the Gopher staff on July 13, 2011, as Associate Head Coach after spending three years away from the program.

Guentzel, who played defense for Minnesota from 1981-85 and served as an assistant coach for the Gophers from 1994-08, returned to the Maroon and Gold staff after one year as an assistant coach at Nebraska Omaha during the 2010-11 season. From 2009-10 he was the head coach and general manager of the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers and he was an assistant coach at Colorado College from 2008-09.

Guentzel is a Marble, Minn., native and during his total tenure behind the Minnesota bench he has helped lead the Gophers to back-to-back national championships, to six NCAA Frozen Fours and to 15NCAA tournament appearances.

Minnesota has won five conference playoff championships and seven regular-season championships with Guentzel on the coaching staff. He coached two Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners, 16 All-Americans and 28 eventual National Hockey League defensemen including defensemen Keith Ballard, Alex Goligoski, Jordan Leopold, Paul Martin, Nate Schmidt, Seth Helgeson and Mark Alt.

The 2013-14 season marked a new era for Guentzel and the Gophers as the team began competing in the Big Ten Conference. The Maroon & Gold went on to win the league’s first two regular-season titles and added the 2015 Big Ten Tournament Title. The Gophers’ defense led the Big Ten and ranked third nationally in 2013-14 as Minnesota returned to the NCAA finals. The following year, Mike Reilly became just the seventh player in Gopher Hockey history to earn multiple First Team All-America merits while also garnering Hobey Baker Award finalist honors.
The 2012-13 season saw the Minnesota defense lead the WCHA and finish third nationally in scoring defense at 2.00 goals against per game. Guentzel also guided Nate Schmidt to Second Team All-America and First Team All-WCHA honors.

During the 2011-12 season, Guentzel coached a Minnesota defensive corps that featured one junior, five sophomores and two freshmen. Guentzel's charges yielded a paltry 1.65 goals-against average in home games, which was the lowest for a Minnesota team in the modern era.

Prior to his first stint at Minnesota, Guentzel spent two seasons as head coach and general manager of the Omaha Lancers of the USHL from 1992-94. He led the Lancers to a combined 89-39-2 record, including a 23-11 mark in postseason playoff action. In his first season, Omaha won both the regular season and playoff championships.

Guentzel began his coaching career in 1986 as an assistant coach for the St. Paul Vulcans, being promoted to head coach and general manager in 1989. The Vulcans won the 1990-91 Junior "A" national championship, and the following year he was honored as the USHL Coach of the Year. He also served three years as assistant coach with the U.S. National Junior Team under Dean Blais ('94), Jeff Jackson ('95) and Jack Parker ('96). He has been a member of the coaching staffs of six U.S. national teams including serving as the head coach of the Select-17 Team in 1991.

Guentzel has also served as an interim head coach for Minnesota during three games and was 2-1-0 as the Gophers' bench boss. He was the acting head coach for the Gophers during their 7-2 win against Michigan Tech on March 9, 1996, in the WCHA Final Five. He also went 1-1-0 as interim head coach during the 1996-97 season against Minnesota Duluth.

Guentzel, who captained the 1984-85 Gophers, tallied 87 career points (12 goals, 75 assists) in 143 games at Minnesota. He graduated from Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in business and human relations.

Following his collegiate career, the 1981 draft pick of the New York Rangers, briefly played professional hockey for the Salt Lake City Golden Eagles of the IHL and the New Haven Night Hawks of the AHL.

Guentzel was a standout athlete at Greenway-Coleraine High School and was First Team All-State selection in hockey during the 1980-81 season. He was the Minnesota Iron Range Conference's second-leading scorer in 1980-81 and scored 153 points and 42 goals in four years of high school hockey.

He also played football and baseball and earned a total of 12 varsity letters. Guentzel threw 15 TD passes and passed for 1,243 yards as a junior in 1979. He also played on three Greenway-Coleraine baseball teams that finished third in state tournament.

Guentzel and his wife, Sally, have three sons: Ryan, Gabe and Jake. Ryan played collegiate hockey at Notre Dame while Gabe played at Colorado College. Jake plays hockey as well and is a junior at Omaha.


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