By Kevin Scott
BUTTE, Mont., March 29, 2021 —The North American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Butte Cobras have announced the hiring of Kirk Golden to be their new Head Coach and General Manager beginning in the 2021-22 season.
The 36-year-old assistant coach from the Americans brings plenty of experience on and off the ice to the Cobras. He served as an assistant coach for the Americans this season and has been instrumental in helping them to the #2 seed in this week’s NA3HL Frontier Division playoffs.
Before coming to Great Falls, Golden, a native of Vail, Colorado, served in numerous hockey-related roles in Aspen, Colorado. He was an assistant coach for Aspen High School during the 2016-17 season before becoming Coach Coordinator for the youth program the following season (2017-18). The 2018-19 season saw the Colorado native become the Head of Player Development for Aspen Junior Hockey. Coach Golden spent two seasons at the helm of the Girl’s 19U A and AA programs (Aspen Leafs) where he led the teams to State titles (2018-19 and 2019-20). He coached the 19U A team to back-to-back undefeated season going 51-0-1.
“I look forward to the opportunity with the Butte Cobras,” said the new head coach for the Cobras. “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.”
Kirk played for one of the top prep schools in North America, Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Faribault, Minnesota) prior to playing two seasons in the North Americans Hockey League (NAHL) for the Lone Star Cavalry (2003-04, Richland Hills, TX), and the Santa Fe (New Mexico) Road Runners and the Cleveland Junior Barons (2004-05) and then went on to play collegiate hockey at NCAA Division III’s Hobart (Geneva, NY) College (2005-09). Golden helped Hobart College (Eastern College Athletic Conference West (ECAC-West) make the National Tournament in three of his four years.
The left-handed forward/defenseman also played professionally in Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden.
Kirk also played in the Federal Prospects Hockey League (FHL) beginning in the 2012-13 season for two teams, the Cape Cod Bluefins (Hyannis, PA) and the Danville (IL) Dashers.
In his final season of professional hockey in 2015-16 with the China Ice Hockey League’s (CIHL) South China Sharks, he was second among CIHL leading scorers with 27 goals and 37 assists in 18 contests. While in China, he also began coaching with the Hong Kong Selects youth program where player development became his main focus.
Golden will be taking over Butte’s junior hockey program that finished with an 8-28-3-1 record and has high expectations for the future of the squad.
He expects them to be a tough team to beat as they have some good players coming back along with some new players, he will bring in. If the players put in the work, the results and playoffs will follow.
Additional Media Coverage: March 29, 2021: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): Butte Cobras name Golden as new Head Coach/GM