The Chicago Steel have added Scott McConnell in the role of assistant coach for the staff under first-year head coach Jon Waibel.
It marks the return of McConnell to the USHL where he has both previously spent time as a coach and as a player. He spent three seasons of the coaching staff of the Indiana Ice (2005-08) and helped lead them to a first-place finish in the East Division during the 2007-08 season. The native of Colorado Springs, Colorado then joined the staff for the Des Moines Buccaneers for the 2008-09 season.
Last season, McConnell was the video coach for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has also had coaching stints with Billings in the NAHL and Bay City in the Western States Hockey League.
McConnell played two seasons in the USHL (1998-2000), recording 26 points (12g, 14a) and 101 penalty minutes in 47 games for the Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks during the 1998-99 season. The forward then scored 13 points (7g, 6a) in 28 games the following season for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He went on to a four-year collegiate career at the University of Denver (2000-04) and was part of the squad that captured the 2004 NCAA Championship.
The 31-year-old McConnell is the grandson of legendary coach "Badger Bob" Johnson who coached the University of Wisconsin to three national titles (1973, 1977, and 1981) and led the Pittsburgh Penguins to their first Stanley Cup in 1991.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)