SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –– The Sioux Falls Stampede in conjunction with the United States Hockey League (USHL) have nominated Brandon and Stefanie Haack to represent the team as USHL Billet Family of the Year. The Haack family has opened their Sioux Falls home to 14 players since the beginning of the 2013–14 season. The family, along with their three children, were selected based on a housing family vote among Stampede billets.
“We would like to thank Brandon and Stefanie Haack for their hard work and dedication to provide our players with a home away from away,” said President Jim Olander. “Opening your home to a stranger is never easy, but our billet families always go above and beyond, and are truly the lifeblood of our organization.”
The Haack family began housing during the 2013–14 season with forward Griffen Molino and defenseman Garrett Cecere. Both players have gone on to have professional careers in hockey, with Molino making five appearances for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL) back in 2017.
“Stefanie worked with someone who was getting out of housing and told us how great it was to house a player with a young family,” said Brandon Haack. “We haven’t regretted it since. We’ve been very fortunate to have some great, young men live with us and become a very large part of our family.”
The two have welcomed 12 more players into their home over the past seven seasons, including Nikolas Koberstein, Will Harrison, Matt Nuttle and Mikey Eyssimont (2014–15), Nolan Nicholas (2015–16), Austin Martinsen (2016–17), AJ Villella (2016–18), Anthony Romano and Ethan Phillips (2018–19), Cam MacDonald (2019–20), and Lucas Kanta and Cole Sillinger (2020–21).
The addition of players to their family have made an impact on their three kids, Mason, Makenzie and Maryn, where they play the role of big brothers and have become role models in work ethic and achieving one’s dreams.
“It has been very life changing for our kids,” said Haack. “It’s fun to watch them grow and open up to each other.”
For many housing families, the bond created becomes lifelong despite the players moving on in their hockey careers.
“We still keep in touch with most of the players and families. When they leave, it’s never goodbye, but rather, see yah later,” said Haack.
“In an especially trying year with the pandemic and extra safety precautions for our players, our billet families have played such a key part in a successful 2020-21 USHL season," said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. "All of our billet families for all of our teams this year did an outstanding job, and we cannot thank them enough, but we are again excited to give our Clubs the opportunity to highlight specific families that they feel went above and beyond in the duties that we ask of them every season.”