Coyotes’ Gutierrez becomes NHL’s first Latino CEO

National Sports

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Alex Meruelo made history last year by becoming the first Latino controlling owner in the NHL when he purchased the Arizona Coyotes.

Meruelo made another bit of history on Monday, naming Xavier Gutierrez as the first Latino team president and CEO in NHL history.

“I have known Xavier for many years and he is a great person, an incredible leader, who has had a very successful business career,” Meruelo said. “I have the utmost trust in Xavier to lead us forward and help us to become a world-class organization on and off the ice.”

The relationship goes back to Gutierrez’s days as chief investment officer for the Meruelo Group, a multifaceted company involved in casinos, financial services, construction and media.

Gutierrez has more than 20 years experience as a business executive and investor specializing in investment management, corporate strategy, finance and business developing. He comes to the Coyotes after serving as managing director at Southern California-based Clearlake Capital Group.

Gutierrez replaces Ahron Cohen, who parted ways with the Coyotes last month after serving as CEO and president since 2017.

“Mr. Meruelo and I share a very compelling vision for this franchise,” Gutierrez said. “We both want to win. We want the Coyotes to be a winning team on the ice and a winning business organization off this ice. We want to build a world-class organization with elite players and the best management team in the front office.”

Among Gutierrez’s top priorities in the desert will be expanding the Coyotes’ fan base and finding a permanent home for the franchise.

Arizona has annually ranked among the NHL’s worst teams in attendance. It has played at Gila River Arena on a temporary basis after the City of Glendale voted to terminate a 15-year, $225 million lease agreement.

Meruelo said the franchise has received interest from Glendale to stay in the arena, but also has offers from the east side of the Phoenix area, where the majority of the population lives.

Meruelo reiterated Monday that he wants to keep the franchise in the Valley of the Sun.

“Clearly, this is home and we want to find the right solution, but everything is on the table in terms of what makes sense for our team, our fans and our community,” Gutierrez said. “Clearly there have been conversations predating me about what is the best option. I’m very new, I’m going to look at everything and take the lead on this, but clearly Mr. Meruelo has his perspective that we would like to pursue that is long term and financially stable.”


More AP NHL: and

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Amber's Tuesday Morning #OneMinuteForecast 10/20

Snow & hazardous travel conditions today


Girl Scout Project

High School Volleyball

Grant County Flasher Football

Bishop Ryan Volleyball

Century Football

Warmer Weather?

Corn Yield

District 28 Preview

Amtrak Changes

Monday, October 19th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 10/19

ATW: Rugby Sibling Teammates

ATW: Velva Football

ATW: Hannah Herbal

Space Heaters

WATCH: Best friend reunion at Georgia pumpkin patch goes viral

Prepare for more widespread snow

More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss