Penn State has a new director of operations for the women's team: Alex Dawes, who comes with an incredibly stout resume - from Vermont and NCAA Division III Utica - particularly for a guy who just graduated college in 2012.
Dawes replaces Mo Stroemel, who has accepted a position teaching one of his other passions, theater arts, at Penn State Altoona. Stroemel, it needs to be said, was integral in the NCAA transition of the women's team. In the three seasons since the fateful Pegula donation announcement he served as Lady Icers head coach in 2010-2011, Josh Brandwene's assistant in 2011-2012, and finally, in his hockey operations role last season. The long-time and underappreciated part of Penn State hockey's success will be heard from again, as he's set to reprise his 2011 role as coach of the U.S. Women's World University Games team in December.
Flipping back to Dawes, here's PSU's introductory press release:
Penn State women's hockey head coach Josh Brandwene announced on Wednesday that Alex Dawes, formerly of Utica College, will take over Director of Operations duties for the 2013-14 season. Dawes, a 2012 graduate of Utica, served as director of operations / student assistant coach of the Pioneer men's team since 2009 and will begin his stint with Penn State on July 29.
"I am very pleased to welcome Alex to the Penn State Hockey family," Brandwene said. "He is organized, articulate, and clearly understands the vital role that hockey operations plays in the success of our program. His passion for the game is evident - and his experience at two successful programs will enable him to step in and contribute immediately. I am excited to have Alex on our team."
"I'm very excited to become a part of the great athletics tradition at Penn State," said Dawes. "I am eager to get started and honored to have an opportunity to join this already great staff. This is a great time to be a member of the Penn State family and I'm thrilled to be here."
Dawes replaces Mo Stroemel, who accepted an offer from Penn State Altoona as an academic instructor in the theatre arts department.
"Mo's operations work in the first year of our program was outstanding, and I'm thankful for his service and dedication," Brandwene added. "Theater has been a life-long passion for Mo and we wish him well in this exciting new opportunity."
Dawes primarily oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Utica men's team and helped develop video breakdowns. Additionally, Dawes assisted in Utica's recruiting efforts and the team's expenditures. During his time at UC, the Pioneers improved every season, going 8-14-4 in 2009-10 to a 21-6-1 record last year en route the NCAA Division III Semifinals.
While at Utica, Dawes also played a part in the college's fundraising effort. Prior to Utica, Dawes spent his freshman year, 2008-09, at Vermont as a student video coordinator and director of hockey operations. That year, the Catamounts reached the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 1996 as he created all video breakdowns and was responsible for logistical and physical operations.
The second-year Nittany Lions will take to the ice on Oct. 4 at Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse for a two-game series. Following a two-game series at Quinnipiac, Penn State opens $90 million Pegula Ice Arena on Oct. 18-19 against Union. That series begins an eight-game home stand in the state-of-the-art building. The youth-laden Nittany Lions went 7-26-2 last season, but return 24 letterwinners, 98.6 percent of their scoring and the entire goaltending corps. Additionally, Penn State added four highly touted recruits to bolster the Nittany Lion effort.