July 3, 2003

John Kyle Named NMU Assistant Hockey Coach

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MARQUETTE, Mich. â€Ã‚“ John Kyle has been hired asNorthern Michigan Universityâ€Ã‚™s assistant hockey coach.  His primary responsibilities will be off-iceoperations and administration and his on-ice duties will be working with theWildcat defensemen.

The announcement was made Thursday (July 3) by HeadCoach Walt Kyle, Johnâ€Ã‚™s brother and the second-year mentor of the NMU program.

â€Ã‚œI certainly have a great deal of respect for Johnâ€Ã‚™shockey knowledge,â€Ã‚ said Walt. â€Ã‚œWith the outstanding group of young defensemenwe have coming back this year, Johnâ€Ã‚™s experience in that area will be a realbonus to our team.

â€Ã‚œIn addition, one area of our program I wanted to seestrengthened was our day-to-day administrative operations because, while fewpeople realize how many behind-the-scene tasks there are to running acollegiate sports program, as the head coach I know how vital it is to havethose things taken care of seamlessly and successfully.  John is an expert in the areas ofadministration and management.â€Ã‚

Kyle earned four letters as a Wildcat defenseman from1977-81, playing in 107 games and earning nine assists.  He was part of NMUâ€Ã‚™s 1980 and â€Ã‚™81 squadsthat won the Central Collegiate Hockey Associationâ€Ã‚™s regular and tournamenttitles and advanced to the NCAA Championship. The 1980 squad (34-5-1, 17-3-0 CCHA) finished as runner-up to thenational crown and the â€Ã‚™81 team (27-14-3, 18-4-0 CCHA) was fourth. 

â€Ã‚œI am thrilled to be back in the Wildcat hockeyprogram,â€Ã‚ said John.  â€Ã‚œThis is somethingIâ€Ã‚™ve wanted to do since I returned from playing in Germany, but the opportunitywasnâ€Ã‚™t there at the time. 

â€Ã‚œI think what I bring to Wildcat hockey is a historyof what it takes to play on championship teams, having been a part of two ofNorthernâ€Ã‚™s CCHA championship and NCAA qualifying teams, and expertise inhelping developing the Wildcat defensive strategy.  At the Division I level, a team canâ€Ã‚™t be successful withouthaving strong defensive units.  I was adefensive defenseman when I played.  Ican teach our players how to think, play and win defensively.

â€Ã‚œAlso, Walt and associate head coach Dave Shyiak are excellentcoaches and teachers, and by me taking over some of the administrative duties,I hope to enable them to use put their talents to their best use, enabling themto spend more time on the ice and out recruiting.â€Ã‚

Kyle, a Waterloo, Iowa native, was selected to the1977 National Junior Team and a member of the Austin Mavericks of the UnitedStates Hockey League (USHL) from 1975-77.

Following his graduation from Northern with abachelorâ€Ã‚™s of science degree, he played professional hockey for two years inDingolfing, Germany.  For the past 15years, he has held various business and management positions in the Marquettearea and has been involved with the Marquette Junior Hockey Association.

With the hiring of Kyle, Northern will become one ofonly a few Division I hockey programs in the country to have alumni make uptheir entire coaching staff.

â€Ã‚œIt was important to me that the person I hired to bea former Wildcat player,â€Ã‚ Walt said.  â€Ã‚œIwanted someone who knew the program inside and out, who realized the programâ€Ã‚™simpressive history and the outstanding quality of the university, and who couldconnect with the hockey alumni.â€Ã‚

Kyleâ€Ã‚™s appointment is effective immediately.  He replaces Brian Renfew, who accepted theassistant coachâ€Ã‚™s position at Michigan State.

## NMU ##

 



Prepared By
Dave Faiella
Sports Information Director
906-227-1013