ASTLEFORD"> ASTLEFORD">

Lightning hire George Gwozdecky as assistant coach

The Lightning announced the hiring of former University of Denver head coach George Gwozdecky.

TAMPA, Fla. -- George Gwozdecky was named a Tampa Bay Lightning assistant, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced Friday.


Before joining Tampa Bay, Gwozdecky spent 19 seasons as the University of Denver's head coach. He posted a 443-267-64 record at the university and led the Pioneers to consecutive national championships in 2004 and 2005. He also was named national coach of the year in 1993 and 2005.


"I am excited to be joining the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff and am really looking forward to working with outstanding coaches like Jon (Cooper), Steve (Thomas) and Rick (Bowness)," Gwozdecky said in a statement. "The opportunity to coach in an organization with such highly respected ownership and excellent front office leadership, as well as a talented mix of veteran and young players in a great community like Tampa Bay is the chance of a lifetime."


The 60-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has 593 career victories and ranks No. 11 all-time in NCAA men's hockey in the category. Before he joined Denver, he coached Miami (Ohio) for five seasons.


"We are pleased to add George to the coaching staff," Yzerman said in a statement. "He brings a wealth of experience to the bench and we feel he will be a valuable addition to the organization."


You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.