Augustana, Michigan’s coaching staff is starting to take shape – The Rink Live
SIOUX FALLS, SD — Barely a month into his exciting and challenging new gig as the first men’s hockey head coach at Augustana, Garrett Raboin has heard plenty of jokes about how crazy he’s going to be this winter. The Vikings will hold their first real practices in September 2023, which means Raboin will spend the next 15 or so months recruiting, planning, ordering equipment and doing everything but coaching hockey games.
But at least he won’t be alone in the effort. At last weekend’s Robertson Cup games in Blaine, Minnesota, among the myriad logos of other college programs seen among the dozens of coaches there looking for NAHL talent, there were two men wearing Augustana jackets – Raboin and Andy Boschetto, who was recently hired as the Vikings’ first assistant coach.
“I am extremely pleased to add Andy to our men’s hockey staff,” Raboin said in a statement released by the school. “He’ll be a great teammate and he’s someone who I think brings the same work ethic and commitment to building that we look for in our future players.”
Boschetto, 40, brings extensive college hockey experience to Augustana at all levels of the game. Most recently, he coached defense at Colgate for two years and was on staff at Niagara for three years prior. A Massachusetts native, Boschetto has also coached at the Division III and prep school levels.
“His reputation for building teams and developing players makes him a home rookie. We’re lucky to have him, and I can’t wait for Andy and his family to get to Augustana,” said Raboin.
It was the latest news in a six-week whirlwind for South Dakota’s first Division I college hockey program, after Rabion was hired soon after as Minnesota’s top assistant coach, he helped to lead the Gophers to their first Frozen Four appearance since 2014. Weeks after Raboin’s arrival, the CCHA announced that the conference will add the Vikings for 16 games in each of their first two seasons, and as a member at full third year.
Midco Arena is currently under construction on the Augustana campus, and the new 3,000-seat rink is expected to be completed in time for the Vikings’ first games in October 2023.
New Spartans coach lands DeMichiel
When Garrett Wait put his name on the transfer list in the summer of 2020 and decided to leave the University of Minnesota, it didn’t take long for the Edina native to receive a life-changing call. Jared DeMichiel had watched Wait in the USHL and saw something in the underused Gophers forward that could help UMass on the ice.
It was less than a year later that Wait, skating for the Minutemen, scored the game winner in overtime in a Frozen Four semifinal game with UMD, and paraded around the ice in Pittsburgh with the trophy. of the national championship two nights later.
New Michigan State coach Adam Nightingale will have to do heavy recruiting as he rebuilds the Spartans’ program, but he landed perhaps his most important recruit this week. DeMichiel, who played a vital role in helping UMass transition from Hockey East to NCAA champions under head coach Greg Carvel, will bring his talents to East Lansing as Nightingale’s associate head coach.
“I am thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to work with Adam Nightingale at Michigan State University,” DeMichiel said in a school statement. “Adam impressed me deeply with our conversations and his vision for the future of Spartan hockey. His passion for MSU runs deep and I am honored to join him.
A Connecticut native, where he played prep hockey in the famed Avon Old Farms program, DeMichiel was a member of the RIT team that raced Cinderella at the Frozen Four in 2010. As a coach, he got his start in St. Lawrence working for Carvel, then followed Carvel to UMass in 2016. There they inherited eventual Hobey winner Cale Makar and not much else, but had the Minutemen in the game for the national title in 2019 and alone at the top of the podium two years later.
He joins a Michigan State program that fired former head coach Danton Cole in April after five seasons at the helm, during which the Spartans finished in the Big Ten basement four times. Nightingale returns to his alma mater after a successful stint with USA Hockey’s national team development program.
USA Hockey honors former Maverick and future Gopher
Connor Kurth has added another impressive line to the official Minnesota Gophers biography that will be posted on the school’s website this fall. Kurth, an Elk River forward who will join the Gophers next season, was named USA Hockey National Junior Player of the Year this week.
Kurth, who turns 19 this summer, posted stunning numbers for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints last winter, scoring 25 goals and adding 46 assists in 62 games. He is the fourth Gophers rookie to win the award, following Ryan Potulny (2003), Taylor Cammarata (2013) and Rem Pitlick (2016).
USA Hockey also handed out its National College Player of the Year award this week, and few were surprised to see Hobey winner Dryden McKay pick up the trophy. McKay is the third consecutive player from the region to be so honored by USA Hockey, which named the award after Rochester, Minn., native Jim Johannson. Wisconsin star Cole Caufield won it last season and UMD’s Scott Perunovich won the award in 2020.