BOULDER (6/29/11) – Scott Smith, a former defenseman and team captain of the Buffaloes, has been named the head coach of the University of Colorado division-III men’s hockey team, CU collegiate sport clubs director Kris Schoech announced on Wednesday.
“I believe Scott will provide discipline and commitment for our men’s hockey division-III student-athletes,” Schoech said. “Although Scott may not have a lengthy coaching background, as a former player he knows our program and I believe he will be successful as our head coach.”
Smith replaces Shawn Sullivan, who was promoted as the head coach for the school’s division-II club in March after spending three seasons at the division-III level.
Smith played three years of college hockey with the CU D-III team and was a team captain and alternate captain. He was a member of the 2004-05 undefeated squad that won the school’s first division-III championship.
As a captain of the Buffs, he led and organized practices when the head coach wasn’t able to attend due to work commitments at his other job.
“My coach gave me the opportunity to run the defense and be responsible for our collective play,” Smith said. “I believe that our ability to go undefeated speaks to my ability to lead a group of hockey players, make decisions related to personnel and take responsibility for their play.”
He began playing hockey at age seven just outside of Chicago and played competitively until he graduated from CU. Smith played one year with Barrington Redwings Midget AA and three years with Barrington High School’s varsity team, where he helped lead the school to the 2003 Chicago Metro Area High School Championship.
“During my playing career I was never the player with the most raw talent,” Smith said. “I considered myself one of the smartest players on the ice and prided myself on knowing our team's systems, anticipating the play and putting myself in the best place on the ice to make a play. I was truly the "thinking" player on the ice.”
Smith will look to bring that same mindset to the division-III program next season.
Tryouts for CU’s division-III team will take place on Sept. 2 at the CU Ice Arena after the conclusion of the division-II team tryouts. Players interested in playing for either the D-II or D-III squad next season must attend the team organizational meeting in conference rooms 1 and 2 in the CU Student Recreation Center on Aug. 23.
The division-III Buffs will open up their 2011-12 season on Sept. 23 against the Air Force Academy at Cadet Ice Arena on the academy’s campus near Colorado Springs.