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USHL: Black Hawks Welcome New Assistant

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Former Flint Junior Generals Head Coach Steve Howard has been hired as an assistant by the Waterloo Black Hawks after leading Flint to a 42-4-2 record during his club’s final season in Michigan.

Howard was named the NA3HL Coach of the Year last spring following the Junior Generals’ superlative effort, which included winning the league’s Eastern Division title and finishing as runner-up for the circuit’s Silver Cup playoff championship.  Flint qualified for USA Hockey’s 2014 Tier III National Junior Tournament and won two of three games during their trip to the event in Simsbury, Connecticut.  The 2013/14 season was Howard’s second with the Junior Generals.  He has prior experience with Black Hawks organization, scouting talent in Michigan for Waterloo.

“We are extremely pleased to bring Steve to our program fulltime,” said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley.  “In addition to the wonderful success he has had so far in his coaching career, his experiences in professional hockey will be an asset to the Black Hawks as we try to foster a ever-increasing degree of professionalism in the young players coming here for development on and off the ice.”

As a player, hockey took Howard across the country and then around the world.  The Burton, Michigan, native began his professional career in 2001, appearing as a defenseman for teams in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, New Jersey, and California over the next five seasons.  During the winter of 2005/06, Howard skated in Korea.  His playing career was capped by a stint in Holland during 2007/08.

“I’m obviously thankful to the Black Hawks for this opportunity,” Howard said.  “I’m excited about coming to Iowa for this new learning experience and soaking in as much information as I can from P.K. and Shane [Fukushima].”

Howard’s 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.

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