Scott Cunningham has returned to join Damon Hanson on the coaching staff for the Helena Bighorns! Along with his coaching duties, Scott will also be the Director of Hockey Operations. We are excited to have Scott and Damon lead our team into a fantastic 2022-2023 season!
Scott Cunningham enters his 25th season behind the bench coaching junior hockey.
A two time National Champion(2010/11 Helena Bighorns, 2018/19 Brooks Bandits) and seven time Coach of the Year has come back to the Helena Bighorns for the 2022/23 season in the NA3’s highly competitive Frontier Division. Cunningham amassed a record of 466-97-6 during his stay in Helena from 2004-2014 which included nine trips to the USA Hockey National Tournament. He followed that up with a record of 291-54-3 in Brooks of the Tier II Alberta Junior Hockey League from 2014-2020 that led the Bandits to three trips to the 132 team CJHL National Championship known as the RBC Cup.
Prior to his 6 seasons with the Brooks Bandits, Coach Cunningham spent 19 seasons coaching in the US, 10 of those with the Helena Bighorns. Over the years he has helped develop over 70 NCAA Division 1 hockey players, multiple NHL drafted players and prospects as well as countless players that moved on to NCAA D-3, USports(Canadian University) and ACHA. Players on that list include Cale Makar(UMass, Hobey Baker winner, drafted 4th overall by the Colorado Avalanche), Jeff Malott(Cornell, Winnipeg Jets), Parker Foo(Union, Chicago Blackhawks), Brandon Scanlin(Nebraska Omaha, NY Rangers), Dennis Cesana(Michigan St., Florida Panthers), Corson Ceulmans(Wisconsin, Columbus Blue Jackets), Pat Dwyer(Western Michigan, Carolina Hurricanes), and Zach Tarkir(Northern Michigan, NJ Devils).
Coach Cunningham’s wealth of experience along with his ability to develop players has led him to a philosophy that places physical, mental and skill development and continuing a players education as the top priority. His belief and commitment to development, discipline and education has led many players to not only successful hockey careers but to be leaders in life, business and beyond. Winning comes in many forms both on and off the ice. The winning numbers, national championships and awards speak for themselves but the lessons learned from his leadership are the ones that matter most in a players life whether it be in hockey or beyond, these are the wins that mean the most.
Coach Cunningham resides in Helena with his wife Kerry and sons Nolan(Fairbanks NAHL, Air Force Commit), Camden and Braden.