Mark Stuart as he looked when he played hockey for Colorado College during the 2002-03 season. He was hired as an assistant coach for the program on Tuesday.

New Colorado College hockey coach Kris Mayotte made a familiar pick with his first hire.

Mark Stuart, who earned All-American status as a defenseman while starring for CC for three seasons before embarking on a 12-year NHL career, agreed to join Mayotte’s staff for the upcoming campaign.

“I am incredibly excited to have Mark return to Colorado College as a part of our staff,” Mayotte said in a release. “It became clear during the interview process why Mark is so highly thought of as a person and a coach. He has tremendous work ethic, character, and passion, which were important as we look to build our vision at CC.”

Stuart was a key member of CC’s 2004-05 team that advanced to the Frozen Four. In 42 games that season, he scored five goals and added 13 assists while racking up 94 penalty minutes.

“I am deeply thankful and excited for the opportunity to return to Colorado College and continuing Tiger hockey’s rich tradition,” Stuart said. “The CC community is very special to me, and I look forward to bringing my passion and energy to the school and hockey program.”

Known as a fierce competitor during his playing days, Stuart was drafted by the Boston Bruins 21st overall in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft.

Stuart appeared in 673 NHL games for the Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets from 2005-17.

During Boston’s 2010-11 Stanley Cup title run, Stuart played in 31 games for the club before being traded to Atlanta, where he finished the season. Ten days after the trade, Atlanta signed him to a three-year deal worth $5.1 million.

In 2011, Stuart's rights were transferred in the relocation of the Thrashers to Winnipeg. In 2014, Stuart signed a four-year, $10.5 million contract extension with the Jets. He served as an alternate captain in Winnipeg from 2012-16.

In 2008, Stuart competed in the IIHF World Championships as an alternate captain. In 2011, he captained Team USA at the world championships.

Following his impressive NHL career, Stuart played one season with Adler Mannheim in Europe.

“(Mark) has an innovative hockey mind, a passion for development and coaching, and is excited to hit the ground running as a recruiter,” Mayotte said.

Stuart is the younger brother of former NHL forward, Colin, and NHL defenseman, Mike. All three Stuart brothers played for CC.

Last season, Stuart served as a volunteer assistant coach at Vermont.

Stuart and his wife, Christina, have three children, Meadow, Sullivan, and McCoy.

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