HELENA – Two-time national champion and seven-time coach of the year, Scott Cunningham returns to the Helena Bighorns. He will work hand-in-hand with current head coach Damon Hanson as co-head coaches and serve as director of hockey operations.
Cunningham is entering his 25th season as a junior hockey coach.
Bighorns owners Mike Greene and Jed Snyder have known Cunningham for more than 30 years.
Greene says coaching the Bighorns isn’t a one-man job and is confident Cunningham will be the perfect asset.
“You could give me a list of a million guys and there won’t be a better guy than Scott Cunningham. There just isn’t. He knows the market. He made it there. He has succeeded there,” he said.
Cunningham and Hanson are no strangers either. Cunningham coached the 2010-11 Bighorns to a national championship while Hanson played under him.
While at Helena, Cunningham notched a record 466-97-6 from 2004-2014 and nine trips to the US National Hockey Tournament.
He also coached several players who played in the NHL like Cale Makar, Jeff Malott and Pat Dwyer.
Greene describes Cunningham’s coaching style as “fair but firm” and hopes the extra 24 years of coaching he has on Hanson will help them avoid the mistakes he made as a young coach.
The Bighorns had a lot of talent last season, unfortunately a lot of that talent was 20 years old. That means the Bighorns will have to do some recruiting, which Cunningham excels at.
“We had a very good team this year, and it will be difficult to replace many of these players. But we have to. And the Helena Bighorns won’t back down…these guys [Hanson and Cunningham] are in the office every day after that. And as soon as the draft ends on the 20th, those guys are going to be on the road this summer and finding the next really good young men of character who can be Helena Bighorns,” Greene said.
Greene’s biggest message throughout this hire is that coach Damon Hanson isn’t going anywhere.
“As long as Damon wants to be a member of the Helena Bighorn, he will be, and he’s doing a really good job,” Greene said.
With these two coaches behind the bench, Bighorns fans have a lot to look forward to in the 2022-23 season. Fortunately, season passes are on sale now at the Bighorns Store.