St. Cloud, Minn. – The St. Cloud Norsemen of the North American Hockey League are pleased to announce the addition of a pair of assistant coaches, Eric Schlie and former St. Cloud State University captain Clark Kuster.
“Both Eric and Clark come highly regarded, so I’m excited and I know both of them will work very hard at helping advance our players, the Norsemen brand and will be a productive part of our staff,” said Norsemen head coach Corey Millen.
Kuster, a 2020 Huskies graduate, recently completed his pro career winning a Southern Professional Hockey League championship with Pensacola, and enters the coaching ranks with the Norsemen. As a fifth year senior defenseman, Kuster appeared in a career-high 27 games and tallied four points in a shortened 2019-20 season.
The St. Louis, Missouri native additionally served as an assistant captain for the team and earned high academic honors from both the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) and College of Sports Information Directors (CoSIDA). Kuster was a five-time NCHC All-Academic Team honoree and earned First Team All-District and Third Team Academic All-America honors from CoSIDA.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, Kuster was a member of St. Cloud State’s conference championship teams in 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2019-20. He played junior hockey for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League (USHL) from 2012-15.
“I am excited to begin my coaching career with the St. Cloud Norsemen organization,” said Kuster. “I am thankful for this opportunity and look forward to getting to work with the players and staff.”
Schlie spent the last five seasons as an assist coach with renowned Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado as a boys hockey assistant coach under head coach George Gwozdecky. He helped lead the team to back-to-back state championships during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. In addition to coaching high school, Schlie was also the head coach for the Colorado Springs Tigers 16U AAA team for the 2020-21 season and spent the 2018-19 hockey season as an assistant coach with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League helping lead the Bucs to the 2nd round of the USHL Playoffs.
The Littleton, Colorado native grew up playing Tier I hockey for the Colorado Thunderbirds. Following his youth hockey career, Eric attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, while playing for the University of Colorado ACHA Div. I team.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity with St. Cloud,” said Schlie. “The Norsemen are a strong franchise and Coach Millen has a proven track record of success in the league. I am looking forward to continuing that success and helping develop our players.”
These staffing changes come as the Norsemen say farewell to associate head coach Casey Mignone who has been an integral part of the team over the last few seasons. Mignone was named head coach of the Chippewa Steel in the NAHL.
“I’m happy for Casey getting the opportunity to be a head coach, I think he’s earned that and I’m sure he’ll do a great job,” said Millen.
The 2021-22 Norsemen season will be the 18th in franchise history, third in St. Cloud and second as the Norsemen. Millen, the former NHL player and University of Minnesota alum is back for his second season at the Norsemen helm. Home games are played at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex in Dave Torrey Arena.
Norsemen training camp is underway and the team opens the 2021-22 campaign at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn. on September 15-18. The Norsemen home opening weekend is set for Sept. 24-25 against the Bismarck Bobcats.
Season tickets are on sale now and single-game tickets will be available September 13 at stcloudnorsemen.com
Media Inquiries should be directed to Director of Operations & Media Relations Ashley Chase. Please contact her to be added to the Norsemen media email list: firstname.lastname@example.org