W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz, chairman of The Chicago Blackhawk Hockey Team, today named John McDonough to the office of president.
“We have moved rapidly in the last several weeks to assemble a group focused on bringing the Stanley Cup to Chicago,” Wirtz said. “By hiring John McDonough, we are adding one of the top talents in sports management and marketing. I am thrilled we found a guy who grew up in Chicago, stayed here and achieved outstanding success here. There are 81 years of history with the Blackhawk franchise and John understands that.”
“While it takes a special group of athletes on the ice to win a championship, we need those same star qualities of creativity, vision and leadership in the front office. John has those qualities and will compliment the talents of General Manager Dale Tallon and Coach Denis Savard,” Wirtz added.
McDonough, 54, joins the Hawks after working in the Chicago Cubs organization for close to 25 years, the last year as the president. As the Cubs chief, and in his previous role as senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting, he was widely viewed as a sports marketing and management innovator who has been credited with playing a major role in growing the Cubs’ fan base and attracting sponsorships for one of the most successful pro sports franchises in the country.
“What John did was create the partnerships that brought resources to the Cubs so they could pursue talented ballplayers. We will be relying on his creativity as he takes the helm of the Blackhawks to help us reach our ultimate goal of winning a championship,” Wirtz said.
Under the multi-year agreement, McDonough will be responsible for all day-to-day operations both on and off the ice. He will report directly to Rocky Wirtz, who will remain actively involved, and work closely with Tallon and Savard.
“I am honored to be here. From a professional standpoint, I can’t think of a more exciting challenge than the one that lies ahead. I view this as a tremendous opportunity that will allow me to leverage all of my skills and experience. I look forward to working with Rocky, Dale and Denis to continue the positive momentum they have created with this team. And I know with that continued commitment, we can and will bring a Stanley Cup back to Chicago,” explained McDonough.
Rocky Wirtz assumed the role of chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks following the passing of his father, William W. Wirtz, in September 2007. Prior to today’s announcement, he moved to realign front office staff and struck a deal with Comcast SportsNet to put a select group of this season’s home games back on television, with discussions about additional games continuing.
McDonough joined the Chicago Cubs in 1983. He rose through the managerial ranks and in October 2006, was named president of the organization. An Edison Park native, McDonough is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Niles, Illinois and St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota. He resides in the Northwest suburbs with his wife, Karen. They have three children.