Stars announce Glen Gulutzan as head coach

It’s official. Glen Gulutzan’s title has been changed from Texas Stars head coach to Dallas Stars head coach. Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk announced Friday morning that Gulutzan has been hired as the 21st head coach in franchise history.

Gulutzan signed a two-year contract with a club option for a third year. He has been the head coach of the Texas Stars the past two seasons, posting an 87-56-7-10 (.597) record and a 16-14 mark in the playoffs. In the team’s inaugural season in 2009-10, he led Texas to the Calder Cup Finals. The Stars made it to the playoffs again in 2010-11.

“I am very excited to hire Glen Gulutzan as head coach of the Dallas Stars,” Nieuwendyk said. “Glen is a young, exciting coach who we believe has a bright and long future in the National Hockey League. We were pleased with the leadership he brought our young players at the American League level and strongly believe his coaching strengths will transfer to the NHL. We feel he will bring energy and a winning attitude to our club. I look forward to working with him as we plan for the future of the Dallas Stars.”

Gulutzan takes over for Marc Crawford, who was fired at the end of this past this season. The Stars failed to make the playoffs in Crawford’s two seasons behind the bench and have not made it to the postseason for three straight seasons.

“I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Dallas Stars,” said Gulutzan. “Having worked with the organization over the last two seasons, I am very familiar with our personnel and that will be a big advantage for me. We are a young team with a strong nucleus and I’m very excited about what we can accomplish. I look forward to working with Joe Nieuwendyk and his entire staff to build a hockey club that will win and compete for Stanley Cups.”

During his eight years as a head coach, Gulutzan has made the playoffs seven times. Before Texas, he was head coach and general manager with Las Vegas of the ECHL from 2003 to 2009, compiling a 254-124-55 record (.650) and making the playoffs five of six seasons.

The Wranglers put together 100+ points in three straight seasons (2005-2008), a first for any team in the 21-year history of the ECHL. Gulutzan led Las Vegas to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2008 and to the Conference Finals in 2009. He was the ECHL’s Coach of the Year in 2005-06.

A native of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, Gulutzan played professionally in the West Coast Hockey League, International Hockey League and in Sweden and Finland.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996, majoring in Kinesiology and minor in Mathematics.

The Stars will hold a news conference on Monday to formally introduce Gulutzan as the new head coach of the club.

The age factor

At 39, Glen Gulutzan will be the second youngest head coach currently in the NHL. Mike Yeo, expected to be hired later today by the Minnesota Wild, will be the youngest at 37.

And Gulutzan is far from being the youngest coach to ever take over behind the bench of the Stars. He’s the sixth youngest in franchise history. Lorne Henning and Charlie Burns were the youngest head coaches in franchise history, both taking over at the age of 33.

Gulutzan also becomes the 19th head coach in franchise history take the job with no prior NHL head coaching experience. Only Marc Crawford and Herb Brooks had NHL experience before being hired by the Stars.

Glen Gulutzan

Coaching record of Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan.