Donovan Peterson named Brookings Rangers’ hockey program director

BROOKINGS – Donovan Peterson has been hired as the Brookings Rangers’ hockey program director.

Peterson will be responsible for overseeing on-ice instruction and long-term development of the players. He will also help ensure that the goals and objectives of the Ranger organization are being met at every age level.

“As our hockey program has continued to grow, we saw an opportunity to enhance the training and experience of our players, as well as provide consistent support for our coaches,” said Wendy Myer, president of Brookings Ice Skating Association. “Coach Peterson will provide that expertise.”

Peterson brings a wide range of hockey development experience to the role. He is a Level 4 USA Hockey coach who is active in the Northern Plains District development system. He has worked with the N.P. District development camp in Grand Forks, N.D., since 2013. He maintains active relationships with N.P. District and USA Hockey personnel, as well as junior and college coaches from around the country.

Peterson played for the Colorado all-stars in Littleton, Colo., and helped them win two national championships between 1987-89. He then continued his playing career at Mankato State University from 1989-92 until knee injuries ended his career.

His own coaching training started in college by working summer camps with esteemed Minnesota State University, Mankato coach Don Brose. After graduation, he coached Termites and Mites for the Rangers. He was the Brookings Rangers Bantam C head coach in 1998, and won the state tournament that year.

After taking a few years off to establish a career and start a family, he came back to coaching in 2008, helping Noelle Needham with the Ranger girls’ program. From 2010-12, he was in charge of the Rangers Termite program and was involved in BISA’s implementation of the national ADM system of on ice coaching.

Peterson was instrumental in getting the girls’ U12 program off the ground in Brookings and has been the girls’ varsity head coach since 2011. For the last two seasons, Peterson has been the SDAHA Girls’ Varsity Coach of the year. His experience goes beyond Brookings, as he spearheaded the girls’ development program in South Dakota, leading to the state development camp and ultimately the formation of the Team South Dakota girls’ program.

Peterson’s new role officially begins Sept. 15 at the start of the new season, but he’s already diving into work with the BISA Board on goals and strategies. He will assist in the recruiting, hiring and educating of coordinators and coaching at all age levels and will meet regularly with the coaching staff throughout the season. He will also be a resource for parents and players.

“I am excited about this opportunity to further the culture of respect, discipline, effort and excellence we expect within BISA, both on and off the ice,” said Peterson. “We are in a great position to take the Ranger hockey organization to the next level.”

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