Claude Julien was named the 28th head coach in team history on June 21, 2007.
He has led the Bruins to an outstanding 40-point improvement in his first two seasons at the helm with a 94-48-22 record and .640 win percentage in that span. He is the reigning Jack Adams Trophy winner as the League’s top coach and was the winning coach of the Eastern Conference team at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game.
Julien led the team in 2007-08 to an 18-point improvement over their previous season with a 41-29-12 record while decreasing their goals against by 67, the second-best defensive improvement in the league. The club then returned to post-season play under his tutelage for the first time since 2004.
He bettered that in 2008-09 with a 22-point jump as the club’s 53-19-10 record and 116 points were the best record in the Eastern Conference, second overall in the NHL and the third best totals in club history. The team then won their first playoff series since 1999 with a four-game sweep over the Montreal Canadiens. He was named the NHL Coach of the Year by The Sporting News in addition to the Jack Adams Trophy.
Julien joined the Bruins with ten years of coaching experience at the junior hockey, AHL and NHL levels in addition to a 12-year professional playing career.
He began his coaching career in 1996 with the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and he led that team for four seasons, compiling a 141-109-16 record and .560 win percentage in 266 regular season games. His Hull teams made the playoffs in each of his seasons behind the bench and he won a Memorial Cup championship with the Olympiques in 1996-97.
He then moved to the American Hockey League, as Montreal tapped him to lead their top affiliate in Hamilton in 2000. He coached the Bulldogs for two-plus seasons with a 98-77-19-11 record and .551 win percentage in 205 AHL games. Hamilton had a 33-6-3-3 record in 45 games in 2002-03 when he was promoted to Montreal in January of that season and he shared the AHL’s Coach of the Year honors that year with current Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward, who succeeded him behind the Bulldogs bench. Julien also was selected as head coach of the Planet/USA Team at the AHL All-Star Game that season.
Julien coached his first full NHL season in Montreal in 2003-04, leading the Canadiens to their best record in ten years with 93 points and also coached them to a first round upset victory over the Bruins in the 2004 playoffs. He was named the head coach in New Jersey on June 13, 2006 and he compiled a 47-24-8 record for 102 points and a first place standing in the Atlantic Division in 79 games in 2006-07 before he was replaced behind the Devils bench.
He has also coached at the international level, winning a Bronze medal as head coach of Team Canada at the 2000 World Junior Championship and a Silver medal as an assistant coach for Team Canada in the 1999 World Juniors. He served as an assistant coach for Team Canada in the 2006 World Championships.
Julien enjoyed a 12-year professional career as a defenseman at the IHL, CHL, AHL and NHL levels. He played 14 career NHL games with one assist and 25 penalty minutes over two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques in 1984-85 and 1985-86. He had 246 points in 469 career American Hockey League games with Fredericton, Baltimore, Halifax and Moncton.
Julien and his wife Karen have a daughter, Katryna Chanel.