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Beaver hockey: BSU hires Travis Winter as assistant men's coach

BEMIDJI – Travis Winter has been hired as the new BSU assistant men’s hockey coach. Since graduating from BSU in 2009 with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in entrepreneurship, management and marketing, the former BSU men’s hockey captain has been coaching in the United States (USHL) and North American (NAHL) hockey leagues.

"Travis understands what it’s like to be a Beaver hockey player. He was a two-time captain here and is a natural-born leader,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said in a press release. “Since he left Bemidji, he’s become a very experienced coach. He’s had the opportunity to learn as an assistant in the USHL and a head coach in the NAHL -- two of the best junior leagues in North America. He has refined his trade and now he is ready to give back to this program.

“Travis is a perfect fit for this position,” Serratore added.

Winter most recently served as head coach and director of hockey operations with the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL. During his 18 months as coach of Aberdeen, Winter’s teams compiled a 53-24-7 record (.676) and a trip to the NAHL playoffs, marking just the second postseason appearance in the organization’s existence.

“College hockey is a level I’ve always wanted to coach,” Winter said. “It’s special. I loved it when I played and wanted to get back in some capacity.”

Prior to his time with the Wings, Winter spent parts of four seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the USHL.

Winter was also a volunteer coach at Saint John’s University in Collegeville in 2009 and served on the coaching staff of the USA Hockey 2010 Select 15 national camp.

As a player, the St. Cloud native was a four-year letterwinner, accumulating 28 goals and 37 assists for 65 points in 118 games for the Beavers between 2005 and 2009. He was named first team All-CHA in 2006-07 and second team the next year. Winter also was a three-time selection to the CHA’s All-Academic team.

Winter also was a captain on the 2008-09 BSU team which advanced to the Frozen Four.

“I always knew this is where I wanted to be,” Winter said. “The program is close to my heart and my family’s heart. I look forward to the experience.”

Winter replaces Bert Gilling who left the program after 15 years to become head men’s hockey coach at Mount Royal University in Calgary.