Minnesota Hockey Journal

February 2020

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Page 24 of 31

ing worked out perfectly and the job opened, Stauber could not turn it down. "To be back (at Hermantown/Proctor) is something I can really cherish," said Stauber. GUIDING THE NEXT GENERATION As recent players, being able to give guid- ance as coaches comes from a place of knowing what it's like to play. (Stauber, who helped the Minnesota Whitecaps win the 2019 Isobel Cup, still balances coaching and playing.) The difference between the two gives them a new appreciation for the role. As players, they were able to control them- selves. Now they need to motivate others and do not control anything on the ice. Haley believes going from being a star player in high school to making limited minutes count at college at the University of Minnesota helped her coaching perspec- tive, being on both sides of a team culture and helping her grow hers at Northfield. "My job as their coach is to not only help them reach their highest potential as an athlete, but also as a person. That's some- thing I really want to drive into my kids," Haley said. "Hockey is great and every- thing, but it's not your entire life. What we're trying to do is instill values in them that they use outside of the hockey rink." There's also the side they didn't know what to expect, dealing with the adminis- trative part of the job. All four mentioned it being something that caught them off guard during their first season coaching. "As a player I never thought about what coaches did when we were doing warmups," Pieper said. "Just little things like that. Things that you wouldn't think about as a player. Like the bus schedule, making the bus schedule and making sure that (my players) are on time. As a player you don't think about it. As a coach you do." HONORING THOSE WHO TAUGHT THEM The names who come up as coaching influ- ences are expected. Parents who coached before them. Old high school coaches. (Or both, for Williamson, whose dad also coached Pieper.) College coaches— Shannon Miller for Stauber and Brad Frost, Joel Johnson, Bethany Brausen and Nadine Muzerall for the rest. Incorporating a balance between having fun with hard work and success seems to pop up with the former Gophers. "It's great to see some really great female role models influ- encing the next generation of girls hockey players," Frost said about having so many former players getting into coaching Minnesota high school hockey. "Hopefully that continues." According to Pieper, the num- ber of recent alums coaching Minnesota high school Girls Hockey shows how much women's hockey is growing and how it is just con- tinuing to grow. "The importance that women are coaching girls is very vital. When we were playing, we had that first generation wave of the Natalie Darwitzes, Krissy Wendells who were show- ing girls and women that you can be an elite hockey player," Haley said. "The first female coach that I had was Nadine Muzerall at the 'U' and seeing her at a coaching position showed me how important it is to have a woman in a coaching role. Strong female role models create strong females. "Seeing that she had a successful career and she had influence shows us how much more important it is for a woman to be in that position than a man when you're coaching girls." As they make their way through their first seasons, they hope to continue influenc- ing by being in a visible role. It's something Williamson learned from another one of her influences from the first generation, Winny Brodt-Brown. "My biggest thing I want people to realize is the opportunity and influence you, as a young coach, can have on a young person's life. It's people like Winny. You can change the trajectory of someone's life by having one conversation with them about life. It doesn't even need to be about hockey," Williamson said. "It's a test to what they've done and it makes us want to do the same thing for this next generation of kids growing up in the state of Minnesota." COACHING CONVERTS 2018 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Brandt (left) is an assistant at Hill-Murray; former Roseville Raider Bethany Brausen (above) is an assistant at the University of Minnesota; and Emma Stauber (below) has taken over her alma mater's program at Hermantown/Proctor. Photo / Hill-Murray School, Jerry Liebrand, Life Touch Sports 25 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 | M H J ON L I N E . C O M

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