Boys Hockey: Aus resigns from head boys hockey position in Brainerd
Brainerd Warriors in need of a new head boys hockey coach.
Moments after celebrating 17 Brainerd Warrior athletes signing letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college, activities director Charlie Campbell had other business to deal with.
Campbell learned late Wednesday morning, April 14, that Warrior head boys hockey coach Dave Aus was resigning his position. After talking with Campbell, Aus broke the news on his Facebook account writing: “Hello friends, I wanted to let you know that today is my last day as Head Hockey Coach in Brainerd. I have resigned as coach after 7 fun years. I’ve met some fantastic people, forged some great relationships and had some great kids along my run here. God has Blessed me greatly along the way. I wish the program nothing but the best and I plan on continuing to coach somewhere… but at this point, it’s better for someone else to give er a go with the Warriors.”
Aus finished his seventh season at Brainerd with a 91-81-6 record. It was his 21st total season as head coach. He coached for 14 years at Blaine before coming to Brainerd.
“This is a big position when you look at the magnitude of your team sports and certainly the status and how hockey is elevated in Minnesota and in our school community,” Campbell said. “That’s a big loss and we’ll have our work to do in finding a great replacement.
“It’s always with a heavy heart when these changes are made. I’ve appreciated Dave’s presence and his efforts and his leadership of our boys’ hockey program.”
The Warrior hockey team finished the season 6-12-1 and fell to St. Michael-Albertville in the Section 8-2A quarterfinals. The Warriors were 10-13-3 during the 2019-20 season and fell to Roseau in the quarterfinals after a 2-1 overtime loss.
“A couple of years ago we had the opportunity to bring Jack Freeman in to coach girls hockey and when we were early on in that process Jack asked me what qualities I’m looking for in a coach,” Campbell said. “If I could boil it down, quite simply, there are two things. I would look for somebody that will field teams that will compete always no matter who we are playing against and is good with kids. Those two things are most important.
“We are a competitive program. We play against the biggest schools in the state of Minnesota in every sport that we’re in and hockey is no exception. We expect to compete and we want to be good with kids all the time. They come to us with enough anxiety and enough negative messaging and so being good to kids will always be important to me no matter the sport.”
The position will be posted and the hiring process will begin immediately. Teaching vacancies will play a part in the decision-making process so Campbell said a decision could take time.
In the past, Campbell has used input from the Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association, but said ultimately the decision is the athletic department’s to make.
“When Dave was hired we had BAHA representatives at the table and in that interview process to provide some input for us,” Campbell said. “Certainly BAHA is important because they are our feeder program. Hockey is unusual in that we don’t have a school-based program any earlier than the junior varsity and varsity levels at the high school.
“BAHA is an important player. At the end of the day, this is our position to have to manage, to have to lead and direct and that means we also have to be the ones to make the final decisions on the hiring.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.