Pittsburgh Penguins
McLeod Hockey Blog: Gophers name Scott Bell assistant coach
Pittsburgh Penguins

McLeod Hockey Blog: Gophers name Scott Bell assistant coach

Published Jun. 12, 2017 1:29 p.m. ET

Two-time former Gopher captain Scott Bell is the newest Gopher assistant coach. Bell was brought aboard by Head Coach Don Lucia Monday.

“This has always been a dream of mine, and people who know me know that I bleed Maroon & Gold,” Bell said. “I’ve been involved in hockey at pretty much every level, but this place has always had a special place in my heart, and I couldn’t be more excited to once again be a part of Gopher hockey.”

Lucia had a number of options to replace outgoing assistant Grant Potulny, who departed a few weeks ago to take the helm at Northern Michigan. Bell, however, consistently topped the list. “Every person I spoke with about Scott said the same thing – that he would be a terrific hire for Gopher hockey,” Lucia said. “Scott checked all the boxes for what I was looking for. He has tremendous support from our alumni, has strong NHL connections, he’s a relentless recruiter, a successful coach, and he is well respected in the hockey community of Minnesota.”

“Grit” is a word that might have been coined for Bell. As a Gopher, he recorded 81 points in 146 career games from 1990 to 1995 and was a three-time winner of the Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award. Since then, he’s paid his dues in the coaching ranks, beginning at his alma mater, Simley High School in the Twin Cities. Then on to the deep minors and college as assistant and head coach. He was most recently a scout for the repeat Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

In his most recent coaching stint, Bell helmed the Hamline Pipers from 2006-12. In his first two seasons, Hamline won a total of 11 games. Those were with someone else’s players. Then Bell’s recruiting chops kicked in. According to Dave Wright, Hamline Sports Information Director, “After that they went 65-31-14 the next four years, winning their first MIAC hockey title in 60 years in 2007-08. He was Coach of the Year in the league. They also advanced to the NCAA D-III tournament for the first time in school history.” Among other standouts, Bell coached a three-time All-American defenseman in Chris Berenguer, son of ex-Twin Juan (who helped win the 1987 World Series with his blazing late-innings fast ball and thoroughly earned the nickname Senor Smoke). Bell also recruited and coached three MIAC Players of the Year.

Adding Bell to the bench is a grade-A choice for Lucia and seems like a solid fit all the way around. He joins Associate Head Coach Mike Guentzel and assistant Cory Millen, both of whom were also Gopher stars during their playing days.

DOUG McLEOD is a five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports and a longtime voice of Division I and NHL hockey. This is his 21st season calling Golden Gopher hockey games.


Get more from Pittsburgh Penguins Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more