DUBUQUE, Iowa — The Dubuque Fighting Saints are proud to announce that Paul Kirtland has been named as an assistant coach under head coach Oliver David. Kirtland’s addition rounds out the coaching staff, which also includes assistant coach Matt Millar.
“I am very grateful to Oliver and Kalle Larsson for the opportunity to be a part of the Dubuque Fighting Saints organization,” Kirtland said. “I am really excited to get out to Dubuque and get to work.”
Kirtland comes to the Fighting Saints from Division III Trinity College, where he served as an assistant coach for two seasons. Under his direction, the Bantams finished as the national runner-up at the NCAA Division III level in 2016–17, and finished as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champions in both seasons of his tenure.
Kirtland’s resume includes junior hockey experience as an assistant coach with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL), where his player personnel selections helped the team win the 2016 Robertson Cup championship. At the USHL level, Kirtland served as a scout for the Omaha Lancers.
“I know Paul from around the rinks for a few years and have always been impressed with his work ethic and knowledge of the game,” said Larsson, the Fighting Saints’ general manager. “When we were in a position to hire an assistant coach and he expressed interest in the job, it was exciting for us, and the interview process made it clear he was a perfect fit for our staff.”
“We are very fortunate that Paul has accepted a position with us. He has the work ethic, desire, and the open-mindedness to have a long career in coaching,” David said. “He has proven to be able to connect with players at the junior and college level, and he brings with him the knowledge of what it takes to win championships.”
Kirtland possesses the experience to develop players for the next level, as he played for the Ice Dogs from 2007 until 2009, and committed to Ohio State University following his time at the junior level. Following a career at Ohio State, he played for three teams during the 2012–13 season in the ECHL, including the Cincinnati Cyclones, the Kalamazoo Wings, and the Colorado Eagles.
“Our players will love his passion and his unwavering commitment to their development. He’s a student of the game, and a great person in every way. The Dubuque Fighting Saints took a step in the right direction today,” David added.
Kirtland and his fiancée Colleen will be making the move to Dubuque shortly.