When Joe Shawhan said he wanted to add someone to the staff that would challenge him and provide great on ice coaching experience, Chris Brooks wasn’t the first person that came to mind, but hiring someone with his resume sure seems to fit the bill. Brooks has spent the last 6 seasons as head coach at UW-Stevens Point where he led the team to three straight championship games including the 2015-16 Division III title. After taking over in 2011, Brooks never allowed the Pointers to have a losing season and in each of the last four years, he’s led them to at least 21 wins. His overall record with Stevens Point is 119-45-13 and includes one regular season title and one tournament title.
Prior to arriving at UWSP, Brooks was the head coach of the now-defunct Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The team played in the CHL, which no longer exists but was comparable to the ECHL. Over his three years in charge of the Killer Bees, they managed to amass a record of 87-86-8-12 (W-L-OTL-SOL) and made the playoffs twice, including a playoff series win in 2009.
— Central Wis. Sports (@CentWisSports) March 24, 2016
Brooks played college hockey for the Western Michigan Broncos in the early ’90s where he amassed 184 points over his four year career after being named CCHA Rookie of the Year. His 46 points led the team as a freshman, and throughout his collegiate career he finished top-two in scoring every season for the Broncos.
After trying to make a go of it as a professional hockey player, including two 100-point seasons in the now-defunct WPHL (Western Professional Hockey League), Brooks returned to his alma mater, Western Michigan, where he was an assistant coach for nine seasons under Jim Culhane. During his time with the Broncos, their record improved drastically over the first few seasons going from 6 wins the year before Brooks was hired to 12 and then 20 wins over his first two years. In his second season, the staff was their best while he as there as the team plateaued, always managing to win at least 10 games per season until the Brooks’ final season, when they only managed eight wins.
When Joe Shawhan was hired, I spoke to a couple of people in hockey circles and all of them said that they didn’t really know who Shawhan had connections with or where his assistants would come from but they were sure that whoever he’d hire, they would be good hockey people like him. The additions of Dallas Steward and Chris Brooks confirm that sentiment. Both bring different things to the table but their success in nearly all of their previous stints in coaching lead THG to believe that Shawhan has put together a great staff. While some might be disappointed that none of the three coaches are Michigan Tech alumni, let’s not forget Tyler Shelast’s efforts as strength and conditioning plus Shawhan’s experience here under Pearson. While having a former Husky on the staff might be important to some, it seems like Shawhan made some great choices and we look forward to seeing how this staff works together to continue to build the Huskies program.