I am in my eleventh season as the head hockey coach here at Saint John’s University. My path to get here has taken me all over the United States and even through Europe. I graduated from White Bear Lake High School in 1995 after two trips to the state high school hockey tournament. From there I went on to play two years for the Twin Cities Vulcans of the United States Hockey League (USHL). I was then able to get a scholarship to Bowling Green State University to play Division I hockey. I played there for four years and graduated in 2001 with a degree in sport management and a minor in marketing. Following Bowling Green I went on to play minor hockey in the Florida Panthers organization (drafted in 1997). I played three and a half years of minor pro in U.S. towns like Macon, Ga.; Jackson, Miss.; Pensacola, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; and Roanoke, Va. In 2004, I chose to go over to England to continue playing and to see the world a bit. I played one season for the Basingstoke Bison and one season for the Coventry Blaze. I also took college courses and earned my master’s degree in sport administration from Coventry University. While over there, I visited Italy, Ireland, Scotland, France, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands.
After my playing career was over I went straight into my coaching career and started coaching for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. I was there for two seasons before getting the job at Bowling Green State University as a Division I assistant coach. After two seasons at Bowling Green, I was ready to get back to my home state of Minnesota. I met and got engaged to my wife, Carrie, and we were ready to be closer to family. We knew that we wanted to have kids and raise a family, and we knew that we wanted to do that in Minnesota. That led me to Saint John’s.
When I saw the job open up here at SJU in 2008, I went after it with everything I had. I knew that this was where I wanted to be. The location was great for me and my wife, but more importantly I knew it was a great university and a great hockey program. I made some calls to people I know had connections to SJU and managed to get my foot in the door. One of my biggest supporters was Bill Sexton (Johnnie Alum and the name behind Sexton Commons and Sexton Arena). Bill was one of the owners of the Sioux Falls Stampede and was willing to help me get my foot in the door here at SJU. With hard work and some great references, I was able to get the job here at SJU. I absolutely love this place and could not see myself anywhere else.
My professional goals are complete. I am coaching at one of the best Division III universities in the country and I have a great work/family balance. While coaching at the Division I level, family often came second. I know that SJU supports me and my desire to coach at a high level while having the ability to be with my family. Those are two of the most important things in my life. Everything starts with my family, but my SJU family and the Johnnie Hockey players that I have been able to coach are not far behind. I have been married to my wife Carrie for 7 years and we have two young kids, Aubree (9), Dawson (7) and Luca 3. I am very excited to have my children grow up in Minnesota and around the SJU family.