New Coaches for Hockey and Track Show Promise
Dominick Ingram, sports editor
As the winter sports seasons creep around the corner, the men’s hockey team and the track team received news that they would lose their head coaches voluntarily. Both Chris Brown and Keith Barnier stated that they have received other coaching jobs at other schools and now Augsburg is left finding new coaches to fill both of these positions.
Chris Brown had a lot of success in his 15 seasons coaching at Augsburg, winning MIAC coach of the year three times, winning the MIAC championship four times, and finishing second in all-time in wins in program history with 192 wins. Although Brown had plenty of success at Augsburg, he felt that his next calling would be at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he will take over as an associate head coach. Augsburg acted fast and hurriedly conducted several interviews with potential candidates for the position, ultimately hiring Greg May.
May is an Augsburg graduate who brings plenty of experience to the program. The Echo sat down with Senior Gavin Holland to discuss his opinion of Coach May’s hiring. “I think that Coach May has the ability to take the program to the next level,” said Holland. “He has great connections in the hockey world and has had a lot of experience to go along with it. Some of the things that stood out to me are that he realizes that we have an opportunity to do something special this year already and that he has a lot of confidence in what he has to offer in that process.” The hiring has seemed to go over well in the hockey locker room, and it will be exciting to see what Coach May can bring to the table for the Auggies.
Keith Barnier announced that he would be voluntarily resigning from head coaching duties for the Augsburg Track program after taking over in 2018. Barner’s next steps have not been disclosed. When speaking to players about Coach Barnier, there were several positive reviews about his time here at Augsburg. “You could tell Keith knew and loved Track and Field,” senior captain Taron Busby told the Echo. “I have had him since my freshman year and he taught me how to be the best student-athlete I could be. Also, he was very good at promoting the track team and putting our name out there. He put us in very competitive track meets during the season so we could be ready for our conference championship meet at the end of the year. I appreciate his time here and wish him the best.”
In the meantime, assistant coach Chris Dixon will step into the role. Although it’s only his second year on staff, Busby has the utmost confidence in Dixon and what he can do with this team. “Chris is the perfect fit,” said Busby. “I always said that Chris could be a head coach one day due to his knowledge, leadership, and personality! Even though I’ll only have one year with him as a head coach I’ll be sure to cherish every moment and take all of his coachings in to better myself as an athlete and a student. With this being my last year and also a captain, I’m looking forward to the upcoming track season and seeing how Chris will lead us all to be successful!”
Although these teams lost key pieces to their programs, they did not waste any time finding two great fits to fill in and lead them to success.