Mission’s Goltz adds scouting role with Arizona Wildcats
Jeremy Goltz has deep ties to the University of Arizona and has his finger squarely on the pulse of the youth hockey scene in the state, so it seems a no-brainer that the director of hockey operations for Mission AZ would combine his two strengths to benefit both.
Goltz was recently named as the director of North American scouting for the Wildcats men’s hockey program, a role he’ll fulfill while still maintaining his position leading Mission AZ.
“I’m really excited about it,” Goltz said. “I’ve modeled a lot of what we do at Mission after my college experience. I feel like the scouting and my work with the Mission kids will go hand-in-hand.”
Goltz played hockey for the Wildcats from 1990-94, then went directly into a role as an assistant coach for the next six years. He eventually moved on to a number of other positions in hockey locally, including starting the Mission program and serving as the head coach at Arizona State University, where he was named the ACHA Division I coach of the year in 2010.
No matter where he’s been on the ice and behind the bench, though, he has always kept in close contact with the program at U of A, and when Chad Berman asked him this spring to come on board in an official role, he was thrilled to have an opportunity to help his alma mater.
“Jeremy welcomed me with open arms when I arrived here,” said Berman, entering his fourth season as the Wildcats’ head coach. “I got to know him at some alumni events and really enjoyed picking his brain about hockey, and that evolved into him suggesting a few players for me to look at. I wouldn’t take the advice of just anybody, but since I have such great respect for Jeremy and his eye for talent, it made sense.
“The reason it makes sense to make him such an integral member of our team is that he understands the type of character we want to add to our program. When he calls me and tells me ‘This is a kid you want to consider,’ I don’t need to get into a long conversation about it because we’re completely on the same page.”
Last year, Goltz advised Berman to look at hybrid forward/defenseman named Manny Rowe, who had grown up playing for Mission and was somewhat under the radar playing in the North American 3 Hockey League.
He turned out to be the Wildcats’ Rookie of the Year for the 2016-17 season.
Of course, Goltz’s role with U of A won’t mean that he’ll funnel players only from Mission to the Wildcats program. He’ll advise Berman on players he thinks fit his program from the perspective of their play on the ice and their character – whether they happen to wear a Mission sweater or play for the many other teams Goltz sees every year.
Because he has worked in the game for nearly 20 years, Goltz has developed a strong network of coaches, scouts and hockey administrators throughout Arizona and across the U.S. This network will help him tremendously in seeking out and identifying players that would be a good fit for the Wildcats program. In late June, he’ll hold his first prospect camp in the Phoenix area, for players interested in showcasing their skills for Berman and his staff.
“Everybody knows ‘Goltzy’ – it’s like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” Berman said. “It would be short-sighted of me to say his connection to Mission is all he provides. He knows so many hockey players across the state, and the key is bringing the right players to our program.”
Goltz feels he’s uniquely qualified to help the Wildcats grow.
“Having played there and coached there, I have a good feeling for what it takes to play at that level and be a part of a successful program,” Goltz said.
— Greg Ball