Head Ice Hockey Coach
Email Coach Gwozdecky | 303.471.3206
Beginning his 37th year in coaching, George Gwozdecky enters his 1st season as the head coach of the boys hockey program at Valor Christian High School. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native completed his second year as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning last spring by participating in the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Prior to Tampa Bay, Gwozdecky spent 19 seasons as the head coach at the University of Denver, leading the Pioneers to two NCAA National Championships and earning him National Coach of the Year honors in 1993 and 2005. During his tenure at DU, the Pioneers became a perennial Top 10 national power winning multiple WCHA regular season and WCHA playoff titles. In 2013, his Pioneers established a national record as the only Division I program in NCAA history to have recorded at least 20 wins in each of the previous 12 seasons. During his DU tenure, he was a three time recipient of the WCHA Coach of the Year award. His program produced multiple NHL players and NCAA All-Americans including 2006 Hobey Baker winner, Matt Carle as the nation’s top player.
Gwozdecky’s leadership brought the excitement back to one of college hockey’s oldest programs and the consistent success of his teams culminated in 13 consecutive national tournament appearances. In 2015, his 2004 National Championship team was inducted into the DU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Before DU, Gwozdecky was head coach at Miami University (Ohio) Redhawks. He served there for five seasons, winning the school’s first CCHA title and earning its first NCAA tournament bid. While at Miami he won the National Coach of the Year as well as a pair of CCHA Coach of the Year honors. He was added to the Miami University “Cradle of Coaches” Hall of Fame in 2006.
Prior to joining Miami, he served as an assistant for the Michigan State University Spartans winning an NCAA National Championship in 1986.
He got his start in college coaching at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Falcons where his Falcon hockey team won the NAIA National Championship in 1983. He earned his Master’s degree in Professional Development from UW-River Falls in 1979.
Gwozdecky was a four-year letterman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a Coaching minor. As a forward, he was a member of the Badgers’ 1977 National Championship team.
Gwozdecky ranks 11th all-time in NCAA men’s hockey for wins with 593. Gwozdecky is also the only coach in NCAA hockey history to win a Division I National Championship as a player (Wisconsin, 1977), assistant coach (Michigan State, 1986) and as a head coach (Denver, 2004 and 2005). Gwozdecky was inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994.
George and his wife, Bonnie reside in Highlands Ranch and have a daughter, Adrienne.