Texas Names Neil Graham New Head Coach, Promotes Travis Morin to Assistant Coach

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)

[Update below on Travis Morin's role]

It will be some time, likely, before we know for sure what precipitated today's events. However, for now, the Dallas Stars have made some personnel shuffles, and the Texas Stars have a new bench boss. Following Jim Montgomery's dismissal as the head coach of Dallas, Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal has been promoted to assistant coach in Dallas. With that news, the Texas Stars have also promoted Neil Graham to be their new head coach. Travis Morin will join him on the bench as an assistant.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Neither Graham nor Morin have been tagged with an "interim" label, meaning that this is a setup that Texas seems to plan on running for a little bit. Graham is in his first season with the Stars and his first in the AHL in any capacity. He spent the last four years with the Idaho Steelheads as their head coach. Graham is just 34 years old and has rocketed to this role since ending his playing career. The Stars were absolutely hiring him with the intent to grow and develop him as a coach and eventually give him this role. However, I don't think it was expected that he would be given the reins so soon.

There will surely be more updates throughout the day. Dallas plans to hold a press conference with Jim Nill and new interim head coach Rick Bowness at 11 AM.

Texas plays tomorrow against Manitoba, their first game with a new head coach in over five years.

Update: Multiple times during the Dallas press conference, Jim Nill mentioned that Texas needed to hire an assistant coach. Meanwhile, Travis Morin was announced as the assistant in press releases. As we reported at the start of the season, Morin was expecting to spend this season in an "internship" role, learning about all the parts of the business and hockey ops. The club was expecting him to move to a coaching role eventually among all the choices in front of him. This move to coaching is an acceleration of the expected timeline. Texas expects Morin to act in the assistant role for the rest of the season and, if Morin is amenable and the match is there, he is a shoe-in to continue in that role in 2020-21.