Funk joins Panthers from D-I Robert Morris
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University Director of Athletics Kim Bownes has announced the hiring of Josh Funk as its new head women's ice hockey coach. Funk, who becomes the fifth coach in program history, comes to Plymouth after spending last season as an assistant with the women's program at NCAA Division I Robert Morris University.
Funk takes over for Mykul Haun, the program's all-time wins leader, who piloted the squad the last four seasons.
"I am very happy to welcome Josh Funk as the new head coach of our women's ice hockey program," said Bownes. "Josh made quite an impression on our student-athletes and we are all looking forward to his positive leadership and his ability to take the program to the next level."
Funk has found success at various levels of hockey throughout his career, which also includes stops at Albert Lea (Minn.) High School, St. Catherine (Minn.) University, Sugar Land (Texas) Imperials and Miami (Ohio) University while also filling numerous roles with Minnesota Hockey CCM High Performance programs. He is a USA Hockey Level 4 coach.
A 2012 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Funk helped guide Robert Morris to a 20-12-4 record and a spot in the championship game of the College Hockey America tournament last winter after spending two years as the head girl's hockey coach at Albert Lea.
He led the Albert Lea program to its first playoff win in eight years, while his Tigers' team saw significant improvement in all areas, particularly goals scored, goals against, penalty kill, power play percentage, team wins and goalie save percentage. Under his direction Albert Lea earned consecutive Team Academic All-State selections, one of only 16 teams in the state to win the award, and was the only team in Minnesota to earn the recognition in back-to-back years.
"I want to thank Athletic Director Kim Bownes and the rest of the search committee for this incredible opportunity to join the Panthers," said Funk. "The team has a strong foundation and I know the players are just as anxious as I am to get started. I am excited to take what I have learned and developed over the years and bring it to the Panthers' program and achieve that next level."
The Roseville, Minn. native served as an assistant women's hockey coach at D-III St. Catherine University in 2016-17 where he also taught in the Exercise Science program. He helped lead the Wildcats to their best record in seven years while also developing multiple All-MIAC selections.
In 2015-16, Funk was the assistant men's hockey coach and head equipment manager for the Sugar Land Imperials of the NA3HL (North American 3 Hockey League), one of two USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues. His responsibilities included defense, goalie development, defensive and penalty kill systems and scouting and recruiting in the Midwest. The team posted its best record in franchise history and made its first playoff appearance while establishing program records for fewest goals against and highest penalty kill percentage.
Funk also gained experience at Miami University of Ohio, where he was an assistant coach for the women's club team while working towards his Master of Science in Sport Psychology. The Redhawks posted a 29-3-2 record and were runners up at the national tournament.
He got his start in coaching as a student assistant for the Gustavus Adolphus men's hockey program as a senior as the Gusties advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Funk inherits a team that went 8-17-2 (5-9-2 NEHC) to earn the seventh seed for the NEHC Tournament. The Panthers skated to a 2-1 upset win over second seeded Castleton in the quarterfinal round before falling to eventual champion and #7-nationaly ranked Norwich in the semifinals. The playoff win was the program's second in school history, with both coming within the last three years.
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