Wildcat hockey's John Hogan named head coach of Maryville Saints

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Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat Josh Larson, 6, poses with John and Toppie Hogan's family during post game ceremony for the Pink the Rink game this past Saturday, Jan. 13.

On Feb. 6, it was announced that the current assistant coach of the Arizona hockey team, John Hogan, would be leaving after this season to serve as head coach of the Maryville Saints.

The 2018-19 season, when Hogan takes over the position, will be the team’s inaugural season as a Division II team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

With the Wildcats, Hogan gained experience as both a player and coach. For three years, he played on the ice as a player, and for the following year, he worked closely with the defense as an assistant coach. His career high in points was 31 (7,24), which was during the 2016-17 season.

With the addition, the Saints will be gaining a bench boss that thinks of the game in a very methodical manner, which was something that made him stand out on Arizona’s coaching staff. During media day, he compared coaching and watching hockey to a chess match.

The Saints program said via a press release on its athletics site that it plans to advance to Division I in the ACHA as soon as the 2019-20 season. However, because of geographical location, Hogan will not face his former squad in the regular season, despite them being the same level. 

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Despite the announcement coming out  Feb. 7, it is likely the team has already been searching for a new assistant coach. Both Hogan and fellow assistant coach Eddie LaVilla are University of Arizona students, so the search could very well be a local one. 

John’s brother Toppie, who also played for three years with the hockey team, could be in the talks to fill the position. 

During the 2017-18 media day for the team, Toppie was in attendance and said becoming an assistant coached had crossed his mind a lot. Berman had even asked him if he ever saw that in his future. 

However, Toppie said he saw himself as more of a helping role. He would be there when called upon, but not a coach. However, it's been two semesters since then, so there could be a change in heart.

Regardless of who fills the position, it is a transitionary period for the team. They will have a new coach focusing on what will be a new defensive core, since several of the defense men will be graduating.

Feb. 18 will now no longer be the final home game for just the seniors, but also John Hogan as well.


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