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Kurt Kleinendorst Named New Coach At UAH

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Kurt Kleinendorst Named New Coach at UAH September 26, 2012 8:45 AM

UAH hockey was on the ropes for a while. When UAH lost its conference affiliation after the 2009-10 season, making scheduling and recruiting difficult, things looked bleak. Today, hockey definitely has a brighter future at UAH with the hiring of Kurt Kleinendorst as Head Coach.

Kleinendorst, a 2000 Stanley Cup Champion Assistant Coach with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, will be taking over the reigns immediately.

"During my 30-plus year association with Kurt Kleinendorst, I have been fortunate to watch him develop as a student-athlete, player, scout and coach at various levels," said New Jersey Devils President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello in a UAH press release. "There is no question in my mind that Kurt will be a decided asset to the University of Alabama-Huntsville hockey team both on and off the ice, and help UAH in their pursuit of a major Division I hockey conference affiliation."

In the fall of 2011, UAH interim president Dr. Malcolm Portera announced that the school would drop its NCAA hockey program and seek to play at the ACHA level.

That move to ACHA hockey did not go over well in and outside the university community. A groundswell of support from long-time fans, alums and former players caused current UAH president Dr. Robert Altenkirch to change Portera’s plan weeks later and continue to move forward at the NCAA level.

UAH served last winter as the host school for the NCAA’s "Frozen Four," the championship round, held in Tampa, Fla.

Kleinendorst was an assistant coach and scout for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils for nine years and is most recently head coach of the Binghampton, N.Y., team in the American Hockey League. Kleinendorst was an All-America and a Hobey Baker finalist at Providence College and was selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round of the 1980 NHL draft. He played minor pro hockey for ten years before joining the Devils.

Kleinendorst becomes only the fifth head coach in UAH hockey history.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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