By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., April 8, 2020 —The Great Falls Americans, a member of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) are pleased to announce the hiring of Kirk Golden as an Associate Coach for the Junior A hockey team for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
A native of Vail, Colorado, Kirk played hockey at the 15U AAA team before transferring to Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota where he won a 17U Tier 1 National Championship as a senior.
He spent two years of Junior A hockey in the North American 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). Kirk moved up to play hockey at the collegiate level where he attended and played for Hobart College (2005-09), a NCAA Division III school in Geneva, New York where he helped his team make the National Tournament in three of his four years. Hobart College was a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference West (ECAC-West).
The left-handed forward/defenseman played professional hockey after his college days in Germany, France, and the Federal Prospects Hockey League (FHL), and Sweden. During the 2012-13 season is where he spent time in the FHL with the Cape Cod Bluefins (Hyannis, PA) and the Danville (IL) Dashers. Kirk continued to play in the top Australian and New Zealand hockey leagues before stepping to the other side of the bench.
His main focus became player development and during the 2015-16 season in Hong Kong, he guided the youth program and the Hong Kong Select teams.
“I look forward to joining the junior coaching ranks with Coach (Greg) Sears,” said the newest mentor for Junior A franchise in Great Falls. “I am excited to bring my knowledge and experience from my playing and coaching days. Player development is a passion of mine, and I can’t wait to help keep pushing this program in the right direction.”
Prior to coming to Great Falls, Kirk was in Aspen, Colorado, where he served in numerous roles in their hockey community. 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 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 am excited to have Kirk on board,” said Great Falls Americans Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Sears about his new hire. “He has a very good resume as both a player and a coach and I think he is going to be very valuable to our program.”
He hopes to be in Great Falls in July or August to start his new role with the organization.
“My goal is to help bring a championship to Great Falls,” said Golden. “Equally important, I will strive to better these young gentlemen as players, teammates, and people. The principles I wish to instill are not only for hockey, but life as well.”
Golden replaces Ethan Hayes, who served as an assistant coach for the Great Falls Americans for two seasons, before being named the Head Coach and General Manager of the NA3HL’s Frontier Division team, the Gillette (WY) Wild in January 2020.
Click here for Kirk’s player statistics and staff history.