Accepts Position with NAHL’s Austin Bruins
Waterloo Black Hawks assistant coach Steve Howard has been hired as the head coach and general manager of the North American Hockey League’s Austin Bruins ahead of the 2017/18 hockey season.
The Michigan native joined the Black Hawks’ staff on a fulltime basis in 2014 and has worked primarily with Black Hawks defensemen during the past three seasons. In addition, Howard has contributed to the development of local hockey in the Cedar Valley by coordinating various camps and informal training sessions with area youth hockey players. Prior to 2014/15, he contributed to the Waterloo organization as a member of the team’s scouting staff.
“We are tremendously excited for Steve,” said Waterloo Black Hawks Head Coach and General Manager P.K. O’Handley. “On behalf of the Black Hawks organization, I would like to congratulate Steve. His enthusiasm for the game shines through whether he is working with young kids, NHL Draft prospects, or talking with Black Hawks fans.”
Howard will remain with the Black Hawks throughout the team’s current Clark Cup Playoff run. He shared his appreciation for both his time in Waterloo and the opportunity ahead of him in Austin.
“P.K. and Shane Fukushima opened the door from me to come to the Black Hawks, and it has been everything I had hoped for as a learning experience,” said Howard. “I would like to thank the entire organization. Black Hawks ownership, staff, fans, and players are proud of Waterloo’s status as an elite junior hockey destination in North America, and they take the ‘once a Hawk, always a Hawk’ sentiment seriously. It is something I am proud to have been part of.”
“The Bruins have had a lot of success in recent years,” Howard continued. “I’m excited to work with the great staff there, and I want to thank owners Mike Cooper and Craig Patrick for the opportunity.”
Before coming to Waterloo in 2014, Howard was named the NA3HL Coach of the Year for his efforts with the Flint Junior Generals. Flint qualified for USA Hockey’s 2014 Tier III National Junior Tournament after finishing as runner-up for the NA3HL’s Silver Cup.
As a professional player for nearly a decade, hockey took Howard across the country and around the world. His first coaching experience came as an assistant with the Columbus Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League while he was also playing for the team in 2006/07. He has also worked in a coaching and skill development capacity with the Minnesota Advancement Program and Michigan’s STRIDA Hockey.