Sioux Falls, S.D. – The Sioux Falls Stampede announced the coaching staff for the 2020-21 season Tuesday. The announcement comes following the hiring of Marty Murray as the newest head coach and general manager of the Herd on April 28.
Brett Skinner and Riley Colvard will return as assistant coaches, with Colvard continuing his duties as the director of scouting. Minot Minotauros Assistant General Manager Chris Lonke will join the staff as an assistant scouting director while retaining his duties in Minot.
“I’m excited to work with the staff we have in place with the Stampede,” said Head Coach Marty Murray. “We’ve only been working together as a staff for a couple of weeks now, but it’s clear we share the same philosophies. We all have a strong passion for the game, and look forward to working with the players to make them the best they can be, both on and off the ice”
Skinner joined the Stampede staff prior to the 2017-18 season while Colvard was added prior to the 2018-19 season both under former Head Coach Scott Owens. The two coaches assisted the team in earning its third Clark Cup championship in team history during the 2019 Clark Cup Playoffs.
“I’ve known Brett and Riley for a long period of time and I know we will work hard as a group to put a great product on the ice for the best fans in the USHL.”
Skinner, 36 and a native of Brandon, Manitoba, returns for his third full season behind the bench. He previously spent 12 seasons playing professional hockey as a defenseman and was a third-round draft selection by the Vancouver Canucks in 2002.
“Coach Skinner will be responsible for working with our defensemen. He played the position at the highest level and has a great understanding of what it takes to be a strong defenseman in today’s game.”
He played in the National Hockey League with the New York Islanders, logged over 400 American Hockey League (AHL) games, where he won a Calder Cup with Grand Rapids in 2013, and spent time in Russia, Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic. For the past two seasons in Sioux Falls he has primarily worked with the forwards and special team units.
Prior to joining the Stampede, Colvard, 27, spent time as an assistant coach and director of scouting with the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Minnesota Wilderness. In addition, Colvard spent four seasons with the NAHL Austin Bruins as part-time assistant coach and scout between 2011 and 2015.
“I’ve always been impressed with Coach Colvard’s eye for talent and strong work ethic. At the same time, I’m also looking forward to him being around the team, being on the bench, and working closely with our players.”
He appeared in 50 games with Centennial High School hockey in Circle Pines, Minn. recording 34 goals and 36 assists over two seasons and spent two seasons with the Bruins between 2011 and 2013, serving as team captain for the 2012-13 season. Colvard is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and was named All-Conference forward his senior season.
Lonke, 45, is the former head coach at New Prague High School in New Prague, Minn. He joined Marty Murray’s scouting staff at Minot during the 2012 season and became the assistant general manager prior to the 2019-20 season.
“It was also important for me to bring on Chis Lonke. He has been at my side for eight years and does a tremendous job of identifying strong players with great character.”
He has been coaching Minnesota high school hockey since 1997 and has also served as the assistant coach at Hamline University, where the Pipers won an MIAC championship in 2008. He previously led the Simley Spartans to a 2003 Minnesota High School Class A Tournament berth in 2003, and back-to-back berths between 2014 and 2015 New Prague, finishing third in 2014 and winning the consolation tournament in 2015. He was named the Minnesota High School State Class A Head Coach of the year in 2003.