KEARNEY, Neb. – The Tri-City Storm announced Wednesday that Drew Schoneck has been relieved of his duties as general manager and head coach. Josh Hauge has been named GM/Head Coach, while Assistant Coaches Eric Fink and Lenny Hofmann remain on the staff.
“It’s never easy, and something that I have agonized over every loss,” said Storm Owner Kirk Brooks. “I didn’t see anything that was showing us the signs that the spark was in the kids. I promised this town a championship, and I’m determined more now than ever to do that. I felt the change was necessary at this point and time.”
Tri-City (6-15-0, 12 pts – 8th in Western Conference) hired Schoneck in April 2009, and he led the Storm to the playoffs in his first season behind the bench. In over two seasons as the bench boss for the Storm, Schoneck had an overall regular season record of 54-70-17.
Hauge, 32, was hired this summer following six seasons coaching the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (North American Hockey League), as he was the head coach for the last three seasons. Last season, Hauge led the Ice Dogs to the NAHL Championship – Robertson Cup and compiled an overall regular-season record of 111-49-15 (.694 winning percentage) and was 20-9-0 in the post-season in the three seasons as head coach.
“Josh has a lot of experience and has won a couple championships as a head coach. I think Josh understands what we want, and we both believe in an aggressive style of hockey,” added Brooks, regarding the promotion of Hauge.
The Storm will return home for a pair of games against Des Moines this weekend. The Breeze 94.5 FM will air Friday’s game with the Viaero Wireless Pre-Game Show will starting at 6:45 p.m., while Fox-Nebraska will televise the game on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)