Moon Township, Pa. - Robert Morris University men’s ice hockey head coach Derek Schooley announced today the hiring of new assistant coach Chris Kostopoulos. Kostopoulos comes to the Colonials with plenty of experience in both playing and coaching the game of hockey.
"I have been very impressed with Chris from the first time I talked to him,” said Schooley. “Every person I spoke with from NHL coaches to NCAA coaches to USA Hockey staff spoke highly of Chris. He brings a track record of developing players at high level. Chris comes to RMU with a wealth of experience in skill and player development. He has been instrumental in moving his players on to college as well as being drafted in the NHL. I am very excited to add a person with tremendous character, work ethic and passion to our staff at Robert Morris."
Prior to coming to Robert Morris, Kostopoulos was the head coach, director of player development and head recruiter for the Dallas Alliance Bulldogs, a Midget AAA team. In addition to winning a bronze medal at the 2007 USA Hockey National Championships, the last three Kostopoulus lead clubs have finished no worse than number 10 in the USHSHO National Rankings.
Kostopoulos has also played an instrumental role in the development of a number of players who are currently playing or committed to play college hockey at the Division I level. One of his most notable players is Austin Smith who was drafted 128th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
From 2002-06, Kostopoulos served under current head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ken Hitchcock. Kostopoulos participated in an apprenticeship while Hitchcock was with the Dallas Stars and the Philadelphia Flyers.
"I've known Chris for a number of years, his enthusiasm and his ability to comprehend and learn the game of hockey has been exemplary for many years in the hockey system in Dallas,” said Hitchcock. “The challenges he faces right now I know he'll do a great job in becoming a real asset for Robert Morris University. His ability to work with players will be a tremendous asset to the program and I'm sure he's going to be able to use his talents as a great coach."
Kostopoulos played professionally for the Fort Worth Fire, the Huntsville Channel Cats and the Columbus Cotton Mouths of the Central Hockey League from 1996-1998. He played his collegiate hockey at the University of Toronto.
He is a native of Mississauga, Ontario and is the brother of former Pittsburgh Penguin Tom Kostopoulos, who played for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2006-07 season. Kostopoulos also is the owner and president of Impact Hockey, an elite development camp for Squirts, Peewees, Bantams and Midgets.