Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach and General Manager P.K. O’Handley will serve as the team’s interim president beginning immediately, the team announced Thursday.
Named the USHL’s 2011/12 General Manager of the Year last spring, O’Handley has led the Hawks’ hockey operations since 2002. Previously through 2009, he was also concurrently the president of Northwest Sports, Inc., which managed the Black Hawks among several other sports and entertainment properties. O’Handley’s experience with the business aspects of hockey date back to his first coaching opportunity in the USHL; during his tenure with the North Iowa Huskies from 1991 to 1998, he served not only as the franchise’s head coach, but also directed that organization’s marketing and ticketing efforts.
“The new state of the art video scoreboard and replay system we are working on this summer will provide our fans with a great, interactive experience at Black Hawk games,” said O’Handley regarding one of the most important projects he will be overseeing. “It also is a unique and exciting opportunity for our corporate partners to enhance their presence in Young Arena. We want the Black Hawks to continue to strive to be the standard of excellence in the USHL and our community.”
The Black Hawks have also promoted Erinn Lahmann from director of group sales to manager of business and ticket operations. In her new role, she will oversee all season and individual ticket sales, manage the team’s day-to-day activities and box office staff, and be responsible for basic accounting functions. Lahmann joined the team in her original position prior to the 2010/11 season after graduating from Wartburg College in Waverly.
Thursday’s staff changes follow the resignation of Black Hawks President Doug Miller, who had been with the organization since 2001. Originally serving as general manager of business operations, Miller was promoted in 2009. Together, Miller and O’Handley led the franchise to eight consecutive years of increasing attendance, culminating with a team record 94,966 fans during the 2008/09 regular season. During that span, the Black Hawks were the USHL’s Organization of the Year three times, in 2003, 2005, and 2007.
“Doug's contributions to the Black Hawks were tremendous,” O’Handley noted. “He was an instrumental piece of the team that has brought the Black Hawks to new heights. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
The Black Hawks anticipate the announcement of further staff developments in the coming weeks.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)