Concordia (Minn.) announced Monday that Kirk Olimb has been named the new head coach for the Concordia men’s hockey program.
Olimb, who has been head coach and general manager of the NA3HL’s Willmar Warhawks, becomes the sixth head coach in the Cobbers program since the 1967-68 season.
“Kirk’s success as a coach, player and student-athlete were a big part of the committee’s decision,” Concordia director of athletics Rachel Bergeson said in a statement. “His familiarity with the MIAC, NCAA Division III and the commitment it takes to excel at a high level made him a perfect fit for the position.”
Olimb guided the Warhawks to playoff appearances in each of the past two seasons and this past year, helped the Warhawks win a franchise-record 32 games in the regular season.
Prior to his tenure at Willmar, Olimb served as an assistant coach at Hamline for the 2018-19 season.
“One of the biggest things that attracted me to this job was the fact that you can come into a program that has been successful,” Olimb said. “Concordia is an outstanding college and has a great hockey program, and I am looking forward to continuing to build the team. The experience I have gained at Hamline and Willmar will help me develop the student-athletes, on and off the ice. There is a lot of overlap with where I have been during my hockey journey, so I can relate to what the players have to go through to get to this level.”
Olimb’s roots, and experience, in hockey goes back to his high school playing days where he helped Warroad High School win the Minnesota State High School Class A championship in 2005. Olimb attended Hamline, where he was a part of the 2011 squad that captured the MIAC regular-season championship, won the program’s first-ever conference tournament title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
Not only has Olimb had success as a player, coach and general manager – he has excelled in academics and in his pre-coaching profession as a lawyer. Olimb graduated with magna cum laude honors in Legal Studies and Psychology from Hamline in 2013. During his student-athlete career, he was a three-time MIAC academic all-conference award winner.
“Kirk’s impressive student-athlete background will be a great asset for Concordia athletes,” Bergeson said. “He understands the struggles that today’s athletes go through with balancing athletics, academics and other co-curricular activities.”
After earning his undergraduate degree from Hamline, Olimb graduated with summa cum laude honors from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2016. Olimb then spent two years as an associate attorney for the law firm of McEllistrem, Fargione PA in Minneapolis.
“Being a student-athlete in college means you have to love the game and have a passion for what you do,” said Olimb. “To compete at a high level and be successful in the classroom means you have to work hard and be committed. I am excited to help the student-athletes achieve their goals on the ice and in their future careers. At the end of the day, the relationships you form with the student-athletes are the biggest thing.”
Olimb will begin his head coaching duties immediately.