Texas Stars general manager Scott White announced on Wednesday that Jeff Pyle has been named the second head coach in team history.
“It was a thorough process for us and in the end our management in Dallas felt Jeff was a perfect fit for the job,” said White. “He brings a lot of experience to the rink on a daily basis. Jeff has a strong track record of developing players for the next level. We feel Coach Pyle will help us continue the success the Texas Stars have experienced in the first two years of operation.”
Pyle, 52, joins the Stars from the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL where he served as head coach for the past eight seasons. During his time with Gwinnett, Pyle posted a 309-210-57 record and guided the Gladiators to the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals in his best season as head coach (50-15-7). The Gladiators compiled five straight 40-win seasons from 2003-08 with Pyle at the helm, and qualified for the playoffs in six of Pyle’s eight seasons.
Overall, his teams qualified for the playoffs nine out of 12 years with the ECHL.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Pyle. “The Stars organization is extremely professional and I was impressed with them during the interview process. I feel that everyone in the organization is on the same page as far as the direction and vision of where this team needs to go. My family and I are looking forward to getting to central Texas and continuing the success of the Texas Stars.”
A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Pyle also coached the ECHL’s Mobile Mysticks from 1998-2002, going 137-113-34, and sits among the all-time ECHL leaders in coaching wins (446, third), seasons coached (12, third), games coached (860, third) and playoff appearances (9, third). After coaching in Germany for six seasons, Pyle served as an assistant coach for Grand Rapids in the International Hockey League in 1997-98.
Pyle’s professional playing career included a stint with the AHL’s Binghamton Whalers as a rookie in 1981-82. He was named MVP of the IHL in 1986-87 and contributed to four league titles in his career.