Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Texas Stars hire Jeff Pyle as head coach
By Mark Stepneski
The Texas Stars have hired Jeff Pyle to be their new head coach.
Pyle, who replaces Glen Gulutzan, has been the head coach of the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL the last eight seasons. Here is the release:
Texas Stars General Manager Scott White announced on Wednesday that Jeff Pyle has been named the second head coach in team history.
“It was a thorough process for us and in the end our management in Dallas felt Jeff was a perfect fit for the job,” said Scott White. “He brings a lot of experience to the rink on a daily basis. Jeff has a strong track record of developing players for the next level. We feel Coach Pyle will help us continue the success the Texas Stars have experienced in the first two years of operation.”
Pyle, 52, joins the Stars from the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL where he served as head coach for the past eight seasons. During his time with Gwinnett, Pyle posted a 309-210-57 record. He guided the Gladiators to the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals in his best season as head coach with a 50-15-7 record (.743), which also marked only the 9th time in the ECHL's 24-year history that a team achieved 50 wins. The Gladiators also compiled five straight 40-win seasons from 2003-08 with Pyle at the helm. Gwinnett qualified for the playoffs in six of Pyle’s eight seasons. Overall, his teams qualified for the playoffs nine out of 12 years with the ECHL.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Pyle. “The Stars organization is extremely professional and I was impressed with them during the interview process. I feel that everyone in the organization is on the same page as far as the direction and vision of where this team needs to go. My family and I are looking forward to getting to central Texas and continuing the success of the Texas Stars.”
He is tied with Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, making three ECHL All-Star appearances behind the bench. Pyle sits in the top five for best coaching marks in the ECHL, including regular season wins (446, 3rd), seasons coached (12, 3rd), regular season games coached (860, 3rd), playoff appearances (9, 3rd) and playoff games coached (72, 5th). In 2006-07, his Gladiators set an ECHL record by scoring 120 power-play goals in one season. The season before, his squad turned in the third highest total in one season by notching 114 power-play tallies. In 2004-05, Gwinnett’s penalty kill set an ECHL record by allowing the fewest power-play goals in one season.
The Minneapolis, MN native also coached the Mobile Mysticks of the ECHL from 1998-02, going 137-113-34. After coaching in Germany for six seasons, Pyle was an assistant coach for Grand Rapids of the International Hockey League in 1997-98. He was a player/assistant coach in 1986-87 with Saginaw of the IHL.
Prior to coaching, he played 13 professional seasons in North America and Germany starting in 1981-82 with Binghamton of the AHL. Pyle played five seasons in the IHL, two with Flint and three with Saginaw. In 795 games spanning his 10-year career, Pyle amassed 1,313 points (490g-823a) and was named team MVP nine times and contributed to four league titles.
Pyle and his wife, Cathy, have a son, Ryan, and a daughter, Lauren.