McConnell to Lead Chicago Steel in 2011-12
The Chicago Steel announced that Scott McConnell has been officially named Head Coach and General Manager of the hockey team. McConnell joined the Steel in October of 2010 and served as Assistant Coach before being named the interim Head Coach and General Manager of the club on February 24th, 2011.
"We are extremely happy with our decision. We took our time making the right choice for the team and organization, and we look forward to the future," said Chicago Steel President Mike Greenberg. "Scott has the approach and mentality that we are looking for. He is going to build our team to be offensive and very tough to play against."
Besides being involved with the USHL, McConnell has experience on the international stage as he took a short break from the Steel this past winter and served in the role of video coach for the U.S. National Junior Team that won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York.
Next season will be McConnell's sixth behind the bench in the USHL. He spent three seasons on the coaching staff of the Indiana Ice (2005-08) and helped lead them to a first-place finish in the East Division during the 2007-08 season. The native of Colorado Springs, Colorado then joined the staff of the Des Moines Buccaneers for the 2008-09 season.
Additional coaching experience for the 32-year-old included being the video coach for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, during the 2009-10 season. He has also had coaching stints with Billings in the NAHL and Bay City in the Western States Hockey League.
McConnell played two seasons in the USHL (1998-2000), recording 26 points (12g, 14a) and 101 penalty minutes in 47 games for the Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks during the 1998-99 season. The forward then scored 13 points (7g, 6a) in 28 games the following season for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He went on to a four-year collegiate career at the University of Denver (2000-04) and was part of the squad that captured the 2004 NCAA Championship.
The Chicago Steel coach has deep roots in the game of hockey as he is the grandson of legendary coach "Badger Bob" Johnson who led the University of Wisconsin to three national titles (1973, 1977, and 1981) and guided the Pittsburgh Penguins to their first Stanley Cup in 1991.
McConnell has already been busy helping the Steel prepare for the 2011 USHL Entry Draft which takes place Monday, May 16th. The Steel hold the 1st overall pick in the draft.