Bell hired as UJ hockey coach

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Cole Bell likes being busy.

That should not be a problem for the foreseeable future.

Bell was announced as the new head coach of the University of Jamestown hockey team on Tuesday, but he's not in North Dakota just yet. He has two weeks of training to complete in the Army Reserves.

"I'll get up to Jamestown about the same time the boys are," Bell said in a phone interview from Virginia on Tuesday. "I'm wrapping up the last few little steps here. As soon as this is over, I'll be on my way to Jamestown."

Bell replaces Dean Stork, who resigned after coaching the Jimmies to a 20-10-3 record in the program's first-year of existence at the ACHA Division I level. Stork is now a volunteer assistant coach at NCAA Division I Miami (Ohio).

"I was able to have a short phone conversation with Dean and I have nothing but respect for the job he did at Jamestown," Bell said. "Obviously, he set the program on a track for success and our is to keep the train rolling."

Originally from Davenport, Iowa, Bell spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Jersey Shore Wildcats of the North American 3 Eastern Hockey League. The team, located literally right on the shores of New Jersey, enjoyed great success with back-to-back championships and a combined record of 89-11.

"I learned a lot from a lot of great people. I can't say enough good things about that organization," Bell said. "It was my first full-time coaching opportunity and it was just a great learning experience."

The 28-year-old Bell comes to Jamestown with hands-on ACHA D-I experience. He was a two-time team captain and ACHA Division I all-star at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.

"I went to a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania and fell in love with that type of atmosphere and that kind of community that pulls together and works as a family. Whether it's the baseball coach helping the football coach or the football coach helping the hockey coach ... it's that sense of family and that is definitely the sense you get about Jamestown," Bell said. "The coaches in the athletic department have been nothing but welcoming and it really does have that family-type of atmosphere that I really enjoy."

With the season not too far away, Bell said he's in the process of contacting current team members. The Jimmies' roster was almost exclusively freshmen last season. They host NDSU for two exhibition games Sept. 15 and 16. The games start to count the following weekend in Midland, Nebraska.

"We want guys that want to win games, win national championships and that are going to be good people off the ice," Bell said. "The team last season set a high bar for the program. It's our job to get to work and continue to build on that."