Kurt Kleinendorst, who spent the past three seasons as the head coach of the American Hockey League's Lowell Devils, was today named a head coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"It's exciting to welcome Kurt to USA Hockey and our National Team Development Program," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "He brings the capacity to help the young men in our program reach their fullest potential."
"We're thrilled to get someone with Kurt's background and experience level," said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations at USA Hockey. "He's well suited in helping develop players for the National Hockey League and college hockey and someone I know our players will benefit greatly from having as their coach."
Kleinendorst served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City, Quebec. He was also a member of Team USA at the 1981 IIHF Men's World Championship.
Kleinendorst spent the past nine seasons in the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils' organization, under the tule. Prior to serving as head coach of its AHL affiliate, Kleinendorst was a member of New Jersey's scouting staff for five seasons, including four as a special assistant scout (2002-06) and one as a professional scout (2001-02). He joined the NHL's Devils as one of the team's assistant coaches for the 2000-01 campaign.
Before working with New Jersey, Kleinendorst served as the general manager and head coach of the Manchester (U.K.) Storm of the Ice Hockey Superleague, Britain's top ice hockey league, for three seasons (1997-2000). He led the Storm to the league championship and garnered coach of the year honors in 1999.
Kleinendorst spent five seasons (1991-94, 1995-97) as the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Raleigh Ice Cats of the East Coast Hockey League and was named the league's top coach in 1993. In 1994-95, he served as an assistant coach and assistant general manager of the International Hockey League's San Diego Gulls.
Kleinendorst began his coaching career in 1989 as president and founder of Salt Lake City, Utah-based North American Sports, Inc., where he was responsible for teams of select college and professional players that participated in a series of tours throughout Europe.
He skated professionally in North America for parts of five seasons between 1983-1990 with the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League, the New Haven Nighthawks and Utica Devils of the AHL, and the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Toledo Goaldiggers and Indianapolis Checkers of the IHL. Kleinendorst also played two seasons in Europe with the Rotterdam Pandas (Netherlands) in 1987-88 and Iserlohn (Germany) and Peliitat (Finland) in 1986-87.
Kleinendorst played four seasons (1979-83) collegiality at Providence College and was an All-America selection, ECAC Player of the Year and a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist as a senior.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)