Vail native Golden advances up NA3HL coaching ranks, named new bench boss, GM in Butte
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Kirk Golden is spending the current 2020-21 NA3HL season as an assistant coach with the Great Falls Americans.
Next season, the 36-year-old Vail native will stay in Montana and assume the head coaching and general manager duties with the Butte Cobras.
Golden will begin working towards the 2021-22 season next month.
“I look forward to the opportunity with the Butte Cobras,” said Golden. “I aim to bring in a culture built on hard work, respect, and a love for the game. I will instill good habits until they become second nature. These qualities go far beyond hockey and are applicable throughout everyday life. We are not only aiming to be good hockey players, but good people as well.”
Prior to his role in Great Falls, Golden led the Aspen Leafs 19U girls program to Colorado state titles in both 2019 and 2020. He also spent one season (2016-17) as an assistant for the Aspen High School boys team.
As a player, Golden played at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, one of the top prep schools in North America, before spending two seasons in the NAHL with the Lone Star Cavalry, Cleveland Barons and Santa Fe Roadrunners and then four years at NCAA Division III Hobart College from 2005-09.
Golden began his professional career in Germany the following season and made stops in France, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, as well as with the Vail Yeti team in the Mountain West Hockey League (Senior A) from 2016-20.
His final season of pro hockey came in 2015-16 with the South China Sharks of the China Ice Hockey League. Golden was second among CIHL leading scorers with 27 goals and 37 assists for 64 points in just 18 games.
That season playing in China is also where Golden began coaching with the Hong Kong Selects youth program.
Golden is taking over a Cobras team that finished 8-28-3-1 in 2020-21, but aims to put those numbers in the past, quickly.
“I expect us to be a tough team to beat,” Golden said. “We have some good players coming back and with the new players that I will bring in, our goal is playoffs. We are going to put in the work, the results will follow.”
(April 10, 2021)