Gopher Hockey alum Scott Bell has returned to the University of Minnesota as an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota Men’s hockey team, Gophers head coach Don Lucia announced on Monday.
A former Gophers captain, Bell has spent the last five seasons as an amateur scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins, helping the organization claim back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017.
“I am pleased to announce Scott Bell as our next assistant coach. Every person I spoke with about Scott said the same thing – that he would be a terrific hire for Gopher Hockey,” Lucia said. “As a former two-time Gopher captain, Scott checked all the boxes for what I was looking for. He has tremendous support from our alumni, has strong NHL connections, he’s a relentless recruiter, a successful coach, and he is well respected in the hockey community of Minnesota.”
A native of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Bell brings more than more than two decades of coaching and front office experience back to campus, working at nearly every level of the game along the way. Prior to joining the Penguins staff, he served as the head coach at Hamline, where he developed four First Team All-Americans and three MIAC Players of the Year including Chris Berenguer. With Bell’s guidance, Berenguer earned three First Team All-America nods and two MIAC Player of the Year honors while the defenseman capped his career with the Sid Watson Award as the top player in NCAA Division III hockey in 2011. In six years at Hamline, Bell led the Pipers to four conference championship games and two MIAC titles (2008, 2011). He was named conference coach of the year and nominated for national coach of the year in 2007-08 after leading Hamline to its first MIAC title in 60 years.
Bell previously served as head coach and general manager of the Rockford Ice Hogs in the United Hockey League along with UHL assistant stints with the New Haven Knights and the Missouri River Otters. Additionally, Bell has served as an assistant at the collegiate level at St. Thomas and Augsburg while he has also coached in the United State Hockey League and the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. Bell got his start in coaching as an assistant at his alma mater – Simley High School.
“I’m thrilled to be coming home to the University of Minnesota. This has always been a dream of mine, and people who know me know that I bleed Maroon & Gold,” Bell said. “I’ve been involved in hockey at pretty much every level, but this place has always had a special place in my heart, and I couldn’t be more excited to once again be a part of Gopher Hockey.”
As a player, Bell skated in 146 career games at forward for Minnesota with 81 points (41 goals, 40 assists) from 1990-95. The Gophers earned two Frozen Four berths during his tenure along with a pair of WCHA playoff titles and a WCHA regular-season championship. A two-time captain, Bell was a three-time recipient of the program’s Mike Crupi Most Determined Player Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from the University of Minnesota in 1995. Bell went on to play professionally in the AHL, the IHL, the ECHL and the UHL.
Bell lives in Edina, Minn., with his three children.