Lady Coyotes find ‘good stability’ from quality coaches
The Arizona Lady Coyotes are already prepping for the upcoming 2016-17 hockey season.
With many returning coaches and some new ones, the Lady Coyotes recently announced their full coaching staff that will take the bench this fall.
David Daniele, the vice president for the Lady Coyotes, is pleased to see many girls returning to the organization, and attributes that in large part to the coaches.
“We want to be the catalyst for the youth movement in Arizona for female hockey,” Daniele said. “We have a majority of players who are returning, and many new players coming in. A lot of the girls’ success is from the good stability of the coaching staff.”
Tom Johnson returns for his second year with the Lady Coyotes as the head coach of the 19U team. He will also be helping with the 14U tournament team. Johnson had a great impact on the teams last year and will be working with the other coaches to have a cohesive training plan for the girls as they move up the ladder. Johnson is a Level 5 coach with over 16 years’ experience.
“We had quite a few more players coming out to tryouts, which shows that the interest in girls hockey is growing and that is our No. 1 goal,” Johnson said. “I love the game of hockey and I think it teaches a lot of life lessons such as character, hard work, teamwork, goal setting, and perseverance. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with a group of players who really take these values to heart and try to demonstrate them on a regular basis.”
Joining the Lady Coyotes and assisting Johnson will be Todd Brodfuehrer, a Level 4 coach who also has over 16 years’ experience. Brodfuehrer will be the first assistant on the 19U team, as well as the lead for dry land training.
Also assisting on the 19U team will be Vanessa Maines, a former Utica College (NCAA Division III) player with two years of coaching experience.
Scott Squires is returning and will be the head coach for the Lady Coyotes’ 14U and 12U teams. Squires is a Level 4 coach and has plans to obtain his Level 5 certification in short order. Squires has been a player and coach with over eight years of experience and most recently assisted the 10U and 12U teams.
“The focus for the 12U team will be all about skill development and foundation skating, and for the 14U team, it’s similar, but with more exposure playing out of state,” Squires said. “We want the teams to put in the hard work and see the rewards at the end. It’s never too late for any girl who wants to learn to play and that’s ready for a new challenge.”
Assisting Squires will be Natalie Rossi, who is a Level 5 coach and has been with the Lady Coyotes for three years, coaching across multiple age groups.
After a year off, Brittany Johnson will be returning to the Lady Coyotes, focusing her duties as the goalie coach. Johnson formerly coached the 12U team and is a Level 5 coach as well.
Mike Hensdell is back run the power skating program. Hensdell joined the Lady Coyotes last year and ran the weekly power skate for all age groups. His support and focus is to make the girls stronger and faster skaters, while ensuring proper form.
With multiple coaches coming back to help for the season, there are many opportunities for the Lady Coyotes to continue to grow in Arizona and expand women’s hockey. The organization plans to encourage more women’s hockey across the state and the West Coast.
— Katy Wolpoff