By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., August 11, 2014 —The Great Falls Americans Junior A team is excited to announce the addition of a new assistant coach to the team.
Casey Kirley, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin has accepted a position on coach Jeff Heimel’s squad beginning in the 2014-15 season.
The Hayward, Wisconsin native played all four seasons for the Blue Devils, an NCAA Division III school, accumulating seven goals and 10 assists in his college career. The Business Administration major had his best season as a freshman scoring four goals and three assists appearing in 24 games.
Prior to attending college at the Wisconsin school, the 5’10” forward played with four different junior hockey teams in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) including two stints with the Kenai River Brown Bears.
While attending Hayward High School, Kirley was a two-time All-State selection, Rookie of the Year, led the team in scoring for three seasons, a team captain for two years and won three team Most Valuable Player awards.
This will be his first coaching experience after his successful playing career concluded earlier this year.
“It will be a great experience this season as I transition from being a player to coaching,” said Kirley. “I want to get involved as much as possible while I am in Great Falls to help players move up to the college ranks and to a higher level of hockey.”
“Jeff (Heimel) and I both have a similar approach to the game and we are on the same page with similar ideas and we should both work well together,” said Kirley referring to what he looks forward to in his leadership role this season.
His goals this year from a coaching standpoint is to build off of last season’s success and he wants to learn as much as he can from Jeff since this will be his first time in the coaching ranks.
He enjoys fishing and golfing when he is not playing hockey.
He is looking forward to this season as a member of the Americans coaching staff and is currently spending time this summer scouting in the Midwest and he hopes to arrive in Great Falls in the middle of August.
“We are excited to have Casey on board,” said Americans General Manager and Head Coach, Jeff Heimel on his new hire. “He brings immediate knowledge of the game to the table and fits nicely with our coaching philosophies here in Great Falls. He will be a great asset.”
Casey’s college statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Stout can be viewed by clicking here.