Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brandwene Adds Stroemel, Kearns to Women's Staff

Women's head coach Josh Brandwene announced today that Mo Stroemel and Gina Kearns have joined his coaching staff.

The tapping of Stroemel, the now-former Lady Icers boss who will serve in the lead role as associate head coach, comes with little surprise. Shortly after Brandwene beat him out for the NCAA squad's head coaching job, it became known that Stroemel would remain with the program in an unspecified position. Given his background, it wasn't a massive violation of logic to assume that the position would ultimately be that of an assistant coach.

Here's the press release quote from Brandwene:
"I have known Mo for 15 years as a colleague and friend, and I am grateful to have him on board. He has been a consistently positive influence on Penn State Hockey for almost two decades, and his passion for and commitment to Penn State Hockey will be instrumental in our success."
One can't help but feel good for Stroemel, who has faithfully served Penn State hockey wherever needed for going on 20 years. TYT has already gone into his career in Head Coach Candidate: Mo Stroemel, so if you're looking for the biographicals, I'll direct you there.

Kearns is the newcomer to Penn State, and she brings an impressive resume with her, largely as one of the top players in the history of Boston University's six-year-old program.

In her four seasons (2005-2009), she finished among the team's top three scorers every single year, and her career totals of 52 goals and 50 assists meant that the Norwood, PA native departed as the leading scorer in program history. Her statistics were built up, in part, by 27 multi-point games, and she was at her best in tight situations - among her 52 goals were six shorties and 11 game-winning tallies. Kearns was also a leader, in the form of a three-year captain who never missed a game.

I'll leave it to BU's bio to address her career prior to lighting up Walter Brown Arena.
Graduated from Interboro High School in Prospect Park, Pa., where she was a senior captain of the boys' varsity ice hockey team during the 2004-05 season ... Played for the Princeton Tiger Lilies of the Mid-Atlantic Women's Hockey Association in 2004-2005 and totaled 121 points (81 goals, 40 assists) in 51 games ... As an assistant captain, led the Tiger Lilies to the bronze medal at the 2005 USA Hockey Girls' 19 & Under National Championship ... Captained the Philadelphia Little Flyers of the MAWHL in 2003-04 and tallied 146 points (92 goals, 54 assists) in 53 games ... Received the Presidents Award for Educational Excellence, the Interboro High School Faculty Award and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Incidentally, former Lady Icers star Jessica Waldron played for that Princeton Tiger Lilies team as well. Kearns and Waldron also teamed up to win the 2004 Summer Keystone State Games tournament, with Kearns taking home the outstanding amateur athlete award.

The 2005 USA Hockey girls 19U bronze medal winners. Kearns is right in the middle with pretty much just her head visible, and the Penn State shirt is the giveaway with Waldron.

I can't say that it's surprising when someone with more Cs than Minnesota has lakes (sorry about that one) gets into coaching. Kearns did exactly that, as the only full-time assistant with the Division III Neumann University Knights, in Aston, PA, from 2009-2011.

In her final season at Neumann, Kearns and head coach Casey Handrahan helped the team to a 16-7-4 mark, which included a ten-game unbeaten streak at the end of the season, halted only by a 2-1 loss to Plattsburgh in the ECAC West semifinals. 2009-2010 saw the Knights finish a level 12-12-1 under Matthew Kennedy.

Here are Brandwene's thoughts on Kearns:
"I am incredibly excited to welcome Gina to the Penn State Hockey family. Gina's experience as a player in the first four years of a brand new college program, her outstanding leadership ability and coaching experience make her a terrific addition. She will be a fantastic role model for the women in our program."
Undoubtedly a great hire. TYT welcomes Gina Kearns to Penn State and congratulates Mo Stroemel on his position being solidified!

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