Former Panther becomes first coach of Jimmie’s hockey program

Dean Stork of Penticton becomes the first coach of the University of Jamestown men's hockey program

Dean Stork is the first coach of the University of Jamestown Jimmies men's hockey team.

Dean Stork is the first coach of the University of Jamestown Jimmies men's hockey team.

Penticton’s Dean Stork is the first coach of the University of Jamestown Jimmie men’s hockey team.

Storke joins the Jimmie’s from South Carolina where he has been head coach for the Greenville Road Warriors in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) for the last five years. Stork grew up in Penticton and has dual citizenship in Canada and the United States.

“After my visit to the University of Jamestown, I knew this is where I wanted to coach” said Stork in a team statement. “To be able to coach in such a hockey hot bed, and to raise a family in such a great community was something I just could not pass up. I know athletic success cannot be achieved without academic success. It will be my job to make sure our student athletes balance their academics and athletics in pursuits that will enrich their lives and fuel their passions.”

Stork will be responsible for assembling the first Jimmie hockey team, which will include spending the next year recruiting and taking care of details that go along with starting a new program. The University of Jamestown is located in North Dakota 100 miles from Bismark.

Stork has spent nearly 20 years in high levels of hockey, starting in B.C. playing with the Penticton Panthers and moving his way up to the NHL, where he signed a three-year contract with the NHL’s Washington Capitals in 1999. Stork played 476 gams as a professional. His last season of pro was 2005/06 with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. He has spent the last nine years coaching, five with the Greenville Road Warriors. He has eight Kelly Cup appearances, while winning it twice. With the Road Warriors, he went 201-131-28 for a .597 winning percentage.

“My whole coaching career I have thrived on the challenges that lie ahead in creating and building a hockey program,” said Stork, who has a bachelor of Science in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he also was named to the Hockey East Honor Roll Team.  “We must be patient in the build, but with the experience I have coaching professional athletes I know we will be a very competitive college hockey program. I live, eat and breathe hockey it’s the competitive nature in me that makes me want to win every day in life.  The love that I have for this game cannot be measured. My heart and soul will be completely committed to the University of Jamestown.”

“I think we have hit a home run with Dean Stork as our first men’s hockey coach,” said University of Jamestown athletics director Sean Johnson. “He brings the combination of skills and experiences that makes him the perfect choice to start our men’s hockey program.  Dean will set forth a vision for our program that will set the groundwork for long term success.”

The university will apply for admission into the American College Hockey Association and compete at the Division 1 level.