File under: Sports
The Colorado State Rams Ice Hockey team ended its search for a new head coach last week by hiring Dave Delozier for the 2003-2004 season.
Delozier, a nine-time Emmy Award winner for photojournalism, helped lead CU-Boulder’s hockey team to the ACHA Division-II Championship last year in Anaheim, Calif.
Now Delozier has a chance to take over a new team and not only challenge the rival Buffaloes, but take away any chances of them repeating as ACHA Division-II champions.
An award-winning photojournalist, Delozier also has an extensive background of USA Hockey coaching experience and a deep understanding of college-level hockey.
Actually, Delozier has been a USA Hockey Master Certified Coach for over a decade and touted the position of Rocky Mountain Regional Director of USA Hockey, which includes nine states.
“Hiring Delozier turned out to be pretty easy,” said Josh McIntosh, president of Rams Ice Hockey.
Delozier was chosen after McIntosh and CSU teammates interviewed him and a group of assistant coaches from last season.
“We had a meeting with the team to discuss if we wanted an assistant coach to be promoted from last season, and as far as the team and officials decided, we wanted Delozier,” McIntosh said.
Delozier became a shoe-in for the head coach position once ex-coach Brian Sutton decided to move on and coach a Junior-A hockey club elsewhere.
Sutton led the Rams for two seasons, taking the hockey club to Nationals both years. But where Sutton lacked, Delozier fills in with more experience and knowledge than most college club-level coaches.
“The big thing that Delozier has over Sutton is that Delozier will be far more communicable,” McIntosh said. “He’s easier for the players to relate to and communicate with.”
CSU should have a great core of players returning, but will miss key players in graduate Travis Burge and also Scott Graham, who decided to play professional hockey in Italy. Nevertheless, Delozier believes the high quality of team players and team character will allow his coaching philosophies to be extremely successful this season.
“Junior-A coach Al Bloomer gave me great advice once,” Delozier said. “He told me, ‘Don’t pick good players, pick a good team.'”
Bloomer is a long-time coach and friend of Delozier, and together they both have been members of the USA Hockey’s Board of Directors for many years. Bloomer is the coach-in-chief for the Rocky Mountain District this season and Delozier is serving as assistant coach-in-chief.
The upcoming season is just around the corner and Delozier has only one week until tryouts, which take place at the EPIC Ice Rink in Fort Collins. A home schedule was recently released, with many new teams visiting Fort Collins this winter.
“We’re excited about a lot of our home games, everything from Washington to San Jose State,” McIntosh said. “We’ve got real new schools coming out, not the same old teams, and so Delozier has done a heck of a job with the schedule this year.”