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Hockey players and parents:
I want to express my appreciation for seventeen great years as head coach of the Huskies’ Varsity Girls’ Hockey team. After much thought, I have decided to resign my head coaching position. Being a head coach takes an incredible amount of time and energy and at this point in my life, I believe it is time for new leadership to take over as I turn my focus to my family, who have long taken a back seat to hockey as I have pursued my passion for coaching. Those who know me will understand that this has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make.
I’ve been extremely blessed throughout my coaching career. In 2000, I inherited a young, successful program from Owatonna’s only other head coach, Mas Fukushima, and have done my best to grow and nurture it ever since. Building a program from early on at OHS has been an opportunity that very few coaches will ever have. I feel fortunate to have been able to work with some outstanding players, parents, coaches, teachers, and administrators throughout my tenure. I would like to specifically thank former Activities Director Gary Ridge for taking a chance on a “kid from the cities” to run this program. I would also like to thank the Assistant Coach that I’ve had the great fortune to work for all seventeen years, Joel Tornell. Anyone who has spent time with Joel knows I would have been lucky to find someone even half as knowledgeable and loyal.
Wins and losses will soon be forgotten. Individual awards will fade from memory too. What I’ll always remember is the opportunity I was given to make connections, teach life skills, and positively influence young women’s lives through a shared love of the game of hockey. It’s tough to beat relationships formed at the rink.
The future is bright for the Huskies. Thanks to efforts by Park and Rec., Owatonna Youth Hockey, and initiatives like the Rinkbuddies mentorship program partnering with OHS, the building blocks are in place for Owatonna’s girls to succeed, on and off the ice, for years to come. I look forward to watching the new leadership continue to nurture and grow the program, as I faithfully tried to do.
Thank you again for seventeen great years. See you at the rink.