The Brookings Blizzard, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are excited to announce Moe Mantha as their new Head Coach and General Manager.
Mantha takes over for Dan Daikawa, who had been behind the Brookings bench for the past three seasons. At the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, the Blizzard decided not to renew Daikawa’s contract.
Mantha comes to the Blizzard with a wealth of experience both playing and coaching throughout many levels of pro and amateur hockey. Mantha enjoyed a 12-year career in the NHL playing for the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars. Mantha was also a member of Team USA at the 1992 Olympics.
He began his coaching career in 1994 with the Columbus Chill in the ECHL. From there he went on to coach the Cincinnati Might Ducks, affiliate of Anaheim in the AHL. After his time in pro minor league hockey, Mantha coached for 4 years in the NAHL with stints for the USNTDP in Ann Arbor and most recently with the NAHL’s Michigan Warriors. Mantha led the Warriors to the 2011 NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship game, where they fell to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 4-2.
Mantha also coached in Canadian major junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires, and the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. Born outside of Cleveland in Lakewood, Ohio Mantha resides in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario with Kathy his wife of 35 years, and three children Ashley, Devin and Brody.
“I’m very excited and appreciative of Mr. Canavati for this opportunity with the Brookings Blizzard organization. I have a great deal of respect for what the North American Hockey League does in terms of advancing careers for their players, coaches, and staff members. In Brookings, I look forward to working with the players, and staff in continuing to build and develop community relations. Our players will strive for success both on and away from the ice, and I will do all I can for them to make their dreams a reality, and help them reach higher levels of hockey,” said Mantha.
Andy Contois will remain with the Brookings Blizzard as Associate Head Coach. The Blizzard would like to thank Dan Diakawa for his contributions to the Blizzard organization for the last three years, and wish the best going forward for him and his family.