Coach Tim Franzini has been around the rink a few times.
Franzini, the coach of the Holmen/Aquinas/Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau Avalanche, is in the midst of his 30th year coaching high school hockey. He wants to extend the season as much as possible, beginning with Thursday night’s contest against Central/Logan at the OmniCenter in Onalaska. The fourth-seeded Avalanche (14-7) take a four-game winning streak into the 5 p.m. Thursday contest against the Red Rangers (13-9), who have won three of their last four.
Even when this season ends, there is little doubt Franzini will lace up his skates next year once again.
Much of Franzini’s life has revolved around hockey, starting when the onetime high school standout played at one of the highest levels of junior hockey in the nation — the USHL. When he stopped playing, he became a referee.
In 1983, after a few years of officiating, Franzini began his coaching tenure by helping the La Crosse High School’s club team before it became the current Red Rangers — which is a co-op between Central and Logan — of the Mississippi Valley Conference. He got his first real taste of coaching at the high school level when he was named head coach of the Onalaska boys team from 1987-2003. After that 17-year run, Franzini took a year off from coaching to spend more time with his family.
It was during that year that Franzini discovered just how much he loved — and missed — the sport of hockey and coaching it.