Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Storm name Schoneck Head Coach











From the Kearney Hub(http://www.kearneyhub.com/):

BREAKING NEWS: Tri-City Storm name new coach
By: SETH BLANK, Hub Sports Writer
04/07/2009
Updated 04/07/2009 09:20:21 AM CDT


KEARNEY - Three days after letting go of coach Tom Rudrud, the Tri-City Storm have found a new coach.

Drew Schoneck, who most recently spent two-plus seasons as coach of the Western Hockey League's Prince George Cougars, was officially named Tri-City's new head coach and general manager today.

"I'm very excited. There are two schools of thought when it comes to especially American-born players. They can opt to go to Canadian major junior, and some do, but most kids want to play in the USHL," Schoneck said from his home in Pasco, Wash., Monday night. "It's very highly regarded as far as a league, and there are only 12 teams in the league. So I'm very excited to get an opportunity to coach one of these franchises."

New Storm owner Kirk Brooks said the 35-year-old Schoneck was exactly what he was looking for.

"He's a defensive-minded guy who builds a team from the back up - from the goalie to defense to forwards. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that scorers aren't important, but if you let the other team score five, six or seven goals every game, you're not going to win many games," Brooks said.

Brooks added he did a lot of thinking about who to hire, and when it came down to it, he wanted someone with whom he could communicate and get along.

He also said he's a hands-on owner and there aren't many veteran coaches he shares the established repertoire he has with Schoneck.

"Don't get me wrong, a head coach runs the bench, and he decides who's going to be playing and who's not going to be playing. But when it comes to who we're going to keep and who we're not, I'd like to have some say-so in there," Brooks said.

Schoneck takes over a Storm squad that recently finished the worst season in the franchise's nine years in Kearney. Tri-City finished a league-worst 11-48-1 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

The poor performance cost Rudrud his job following his first season as head coach. Rudrud also spent five years as a Storm assistant.

A defenseman in his playing days, Schoneck accumulated a 57-80-3-5 record as Prince George's head coach. He led the Cougars to the WHL's Western Conference Finals in 2007. But Prince George was 20-48-0-4 the following year.

Schoneck was fired this past December after the Cougars started the season 10-18-0-1.

Schoneck's below .500 record with Prince George doesn't worry Brooks.

"Some situations like the one I believe Tom (Rudrud) was in, there's not many options but to fail, and I think Drew was in one of those options up there," Brooks said.
Besides coaching Prince George, Schoneck spent the 2003-04 season as an assistant coach and assistant general manager for the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. The ECHL is a minor professional league equivalent to professional baseball's AA level.

Brooks and Schoneck met when the Wranglers practiced at the Las Vegas Ice Center, which Brooks owns.

"Drew basically ran a lot of the practices, so I was able to watch the way he ran practices. I became friends with Drew and the rest is kind of history," said Brooks.

Schoneck knew Brooks was looking at purchasing a USHL team, but only recently learned he would have the chance to coach it.

"I knew that he was in the process and looking, but I was up in Washington where you don't hear too much about hockey so I didn't know how close he was until we started getting down to the brass tacks," said Schoneck.

Before coaching in Las Vegas, Schoneck also spent time as an assistant for three WHL teams. He started his coaching career in 1998 as an assistant for the league's Kelowna Rockets. The WHL is major junior hockey and is at a level similar to United States collegiate hockey.

He was also named the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Coach of the Year in 2006.

Schoneck said one assistant coach has been chosen to join him in Tri-City, but did not want to comment on whom that coach was.

e-mail to:
seth.blank@kearneyhub.com

SCHONECK'S COACHING RESUME
1998-2000 - Kelowna Rockets Assistant (WHL)
2001-02 - Prince Albert Raiders Assistant (WHL)
2004-05 - Las Vegas Wranglers Assistant (ECHL)
2005-06 - OCN Blizzard head coach (MJHL). Named league's coach of the year.
Sept. 2006-Nov. 2006 - Powell River Kings head coach (BCHL)
2006-Dec. 2008 - Prince George Cougars head coach (WHL)

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