|Stroemel (left) is moving to a third job in the last three years.|
Mo Stroemel, the man who quite possibly has filled as many roles as anyone else in the history of Penn State hockey, will add yet another to the list: director of hockey operations and video coach for the women's program. He has been removed from his previous role of associate coach.
Stroemel joined former Boston University star Gina Kearns on Josh Brandwene's Lady Icers staff in 2011-2012, after serving as head coach of the program from 2007-2011. He interviewed to be the first head coach of the NCAA Division I women's program and lost out to Brandwene but was retained on staff.
Following those events last June, Stroemel indicated to The Daily Collegian's Christine Newby that he was grateful to stay involved with the program in any capacity, an outlook that hopefully has not changed.
“I think the university is behind me, and they are going to find a role for me at this point. I appreciate that. I think they’re willing to recognize the role that I had in getting us to where we’re at, at this point.Prior to his tenure as head coach of the Lady Icers, he was an Icers assistant under both Joe Battista and Scott Balboni from 2004-2007 and also spent ten years (1994-2004) as an assistant and head coach with the ACHA Division 2 Ice Lions (for more detail on Stroemel's resume, check out Head Coach Candidate: Mo Stroemel, a post that examined his worthiness of the position that eventually went to Brandwene).
“I think it’s an honor and a privilege to be allowed to continue on with the program in some manner.”
Here's the job posting for Stroemel's replacement:
|Click to enlarge.|
The remainder of the post is pure speculation, just to be unambiguous about things.
The emphasis on goaltending requested by the posting, as well as Stroemel's new title, may indicate some shifting of responsibilities elsewhere in PSU hockey as well. Director of Hockey Operations Bill Downey, for example, is no longer listed on the women's roster and, while he probably retains oversight over both programs, he may begin spending more of his time on the men's program. Additionally, Josh Hand has been a goaltending consultant for both men's and women's programs, but his duties as head coach of the Ice Lions significantly limit his availability in that capacity.
One also has to wonder about the behind-the-scenes machinations that led to this move occurring now. It's curious that administration would make a point of building a staff to lead the program through a final ACHA season and get a running start into NCAA competition, only to make a significant change after year one. Was Stroemel forced on Brandwene and the two just couldn't make the previous arrangement work? Considering the relatively small number of pre-2011 Lady Icers expected to make the NCAA roster (my estimate: 2-3), was Stroemel only kept as top lieutenant for continuity with those he had coached previously, becoming expendable once they graduated?
Whatever the case, it's an unfortunate turn of events for a guy who has served PSU hockey quite capably for a lot of years, and who sacrificed diverse non-hockey interests (his position in the School of Theatre as one example) to fully commit to the women's NCAA program.