If I did my research correctly, 14 new head coaches will pace the bench in their team's box this season. There are a few familiar names and some that you might not know. But almost all have experience on the ice or off it and are looking forward to leading their respective squads to victories this season and beyond.
Below are brief capsules of the new coaches.
Baraboo/Portage: David Clark
Clark played his HS hockey at Arrowhead and was a captain on the 2009 state championship team. He played two years of junior hockey with the Janesville Jets, Austin Bruins, Granite City Lumberjacks, and Chicago Hitmen, but decided to stop playing and attend college.
Clark was an assistant at Madison Edgewood for two years, and then at Baraboo from 2016-2018.
He works as a financial planner, and in his spare time, was part of the championship team at the 2019 Eagle River US Pond Hockey Championships.
Cedarburg: Jason Woll
Woll has experience at several levels of coaching: he was an assistant at Cedarburg the last two years; two years of experience as an assistant instructor at Power Plus Hockey Camps; and two years of assistant coaching at the U18 level for Phoenix Hockey.
As a player, Woll played three years at the junior level; four years at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE); and three years in the minors for the Cincinnati Cyclones and Wichita Thunder.
His day job is at Advocate Aurora Health Care, as a Manager of Decision Support. Woll is also a First Lieutenant in the US Army Reserves-Medical Services.
DeForest: Brent Richter
Richter comes to the Norskies with eight years of youth hockey coaching experience, along with a similar number of seasons coaching HS athletics. He played HS hockey at Rice Lake and also played junior hockey.
Richter is a Business Directory for the Lodi School District, and in his free time is an avid runner, triathlete, and musician. He also plays in an adult hockey league.
Hudson: Jake Drewiske
Drewiske comes full circle as the new head coach of the team he played for in the early 2000s. Although he is a first-time coach, he has plenty of post-HS playing experience, playing three years for Sioux Falls in the USHL; four seasons at D1 St. Lawrence University, serving as captain for two years; and two years in the Flyers and Coyotes organizations.
He won a state tournament with Hudson in 2004 and a Clark and Anderson Cup for Sioux Falls Stampede. Drewiske was chosen as a Top 20 All-Time player for the Stampede.
He works as a Commercial Real Estate professional for Telus Property Solutions and Services.
Kenosha: Joe Trifone
Trifone coached in the Wisconsin Bandits Hockey Club organization.
KMMO: Bud Simon
Simon is entering his sixth season as a coach with KMMO, with this being his first as the head man. He has also coached at the AAA, college club, and professional levels since 1994 in Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Simon is also the founder/owner of Impact Hockey Academy for the last ten years, and also has the Director of Hockey for Elmbrook Youth Hockey Association and Chicago Young Americans AAA team on his resume.
He played club hockey for Purdue University as well as baseball for the Boilermakers.
Simon lives in Wales with wife Tara, and daughters Emma and Kaylee, who play for the CYA U14 team.
Medford: Galen Searles
Searles coached youth hockey for the past eight years, all levels form Mite to Bantam. He played HS hockey in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
During the day, he is the ice rink manager in Medford.
He is married, and his wife Corrie and he have three hockey playing sons: Logan, Miles, and Blaine.
Onalaska: Tim Franzini
Franzini is a well-known name in Wisconsin HS circles, and is now in his 32nd year as a coach. Previous positions include head coaching jobs at LaCrosse (3 years), Onalaska (16 years), and Aquinas Avalanche (10 years). He also coached the Onalaska girls team for two years, earning state runner-up status in both 2013 and 2014.
His overall coaching record is 495-265-23. He is a self-employed distributor of grocery and snack lines.
Oregon: Larry Clemens
Clemens is well-known around the Wisconsin hockey circles, having instructed goalies at his HP Goaltending, as well as mentoring netminders for the Janesville Jets (11 years), Team Wisconsin, and several USA Hockey National festivals.
He has also been an assistant at Sun Prairie and Oregon. He played for Sun Prairie in the late '90s, winning a state title as a senior in 1997, and played junior hockey at the Junior B WSHL level, as well as in the NAHL and AWHL circuits.
Clemens also played for ACHA D1 UW-Whitewater.
He is the co-owner/operator of the Oregon Ice Arena. He is married to Nicole and has two children: Camden (8) and Dalton (5).
Oshkosh: John Thomson
Thomson has nine years of coaching experience at the youth hockey level. He played hockey as a youth through Midget.
His day job is as a Project Manager/Inside Fabrication Sales at Lapham-Hickey Steel.
Thomson is very involved in adult hockey and has organized and played on several adult tournament teams. He also hosts an adult hockey tournament in Oshkosh and organizes a 50+ summer hockey league.
River Falls: Brent Swanson
Swanson has coached at every level across youth hockey for the last ten years, and prior to that played HS hockey in Ames, Iowa; played two years of juniors; and played years at the collegiate level (one year at D3 Castleton University and two years at Minnesota-Crookston).
During the day, Swanson is a Business Education teacher in Ellsworth, WI.
Sheboygan: Bill Sunagel, Sr.
Sunagel has plenty of coaching experience in the Chicago area, having coached for 39 years, primarily at the Bantam Midget and high school levels. Most recently he led the U14 NE Wisconsin WEHL team last season.
Sunagel played HS hockey at Niles (IL) Notre Dame. He is a retired union glazier from Local 27 in Chicago. He moved to Wisconsin to be closer to his son and his family.
Stoughton: Brett Quale
Quale moves up from his assistant position, having amassed eight years of experience at Stoughton (nine years total). The four-year former Stoughton player is employed by Cascade Development.
WSFLG: Kody Novinska
Former Rice Lake star Novinska receives his first coaching assignment. He graduated from RLHS in 2012 and was named the WHCA Player of the Year in his final HS season. He went on to play for UW-LaCrosse at the club level.
Novinska is a physical education/health education teacher for the Frederic School District.
Tag(s): Home Around the State Badger North Baraboo/Portage DeForest Badger South Oregon Stoughton Badgerland Oshkosh Big Rivers Hudson Classic Eight Kenosha KMMO Fox River Classic Sheboygan Great Northern Medford North Shore Cedarburg West Bend Mississippi Valley Onalaska/La Crosse Independents WSFLG