Thief River Falls, Minn. — When the 2018-19 Thief River Falls Norskies of the Superior International Junior Hockey League take the ice next fall it will have a new look behind the bench.
The club announced Monday that Cole Workman will be leaving the Norskies after two seasons as head coach and director of player personnel to join the Division I NCAA Bemidji State University men’s hockey program as an assistant coach in charge of video/goaltenders and serve as their director of hockey operations.
Workman will be joining long-time head coach Tom Serratore, who is in his 18th year at the helm of Bemidji State Hockey.
Alongside him are assistant coaches Travis Winter and Eddie Olczyk.
“I am beyond excited for this opportunity with Bemidji,” stated Workman.
“It’s humbling for me to make a move in the right direction with hockey and to be a part of a top-notch program like the one that coach Serratore and his staff runs makes this opportunity that much better,” Workman.
Workman in his two seasons behind the bench of the Norskies in 112 regular season games compiled a notable record of 71-32-4-5 (.674)
In addition to his two-year tenure was selected to the coaching staff of the SIJHL’s Team USA and captured a win against the SIJHL’s Team Canada at their all-star game in Eveleth, Minn.
During the two years Cole was in charge of Thief River Falls, he was a finalist for the SIJHL’s coach of the year award both seasons and was named the CCM second all-star team in each campaign.
In his tenure in Thief River Falls, Workman has graduated 11 players to the NCAA Division III college ranks as well as the ACHA.
In 2017-2018 Workman led the Norskies to the most victories in the league (41) and finished with an overall record of 41-11-2-2 (.768).
He brought the program to a national level finishing with a national ranking of 11 in the 132-team based Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).
Along with these accomplishments, a franchise record was set with an 18-game winning streak in addition to 41 wins in a single season.
In 22 total weeks of CJHL rankings, the TRF Norskies were ranked #1 an impressive seven times and were in the top 10 a total of 12 occasions.
“The accomplishments we were able to make happen these past two seasons in Thief River were ones that I’ll never forget,” added Workman.
“I was able to work with an amazing group of young men and a talented group of coaches to help make this all possible. A lot of my credit goes to my fiancé, the players and my assistants” stated Workman. “They have been the best support group I could have asked for.”
“Cole has provided a stable platform for our program over the first two years and he will be missed, but as an organization we are about developing players and that also includes our coaches,” remarked team President Tim Berglund.
“We wish Cole nothing but the best with Bemidji State.”
“We at the SIJHL congratulate Cole on his new position with the Bemidji State Beavers program,” offered league commissioner Bryan Graham.
“His efforts the past two seasons in Thief River Falls have helped the Norskies become a model franchise in our league and across the Canadian Junior Hockey League and shows the SIJHL continues to help develop our players, coaches, officials and staff members in moving on to the next level,” added Graham.
The Norskies Prospect Camp will go as scheduled June 22-24, 2018 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls, MN.
Interested players looking to try out for the program can register at the following link: http://www.trfnorskies.com/tryouts.
Workman will be remaining with the Norskies through the end of June while the search for a new head coach begins.
About the Thief River Falls Norskies:
The Thief River Falls Norskies are a junior A club that participates as one of only five U.S.-based teams within the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
The program competes out of the Superior International Junior Hockey League who are members of the 132-team CJHL.
Our goal is to develop players and coaches and provide the best junior hockey experience in the upper western Minnesota area.
Check us out at www.trfnorskies.com, or social media via facebook.com/TRFNorskiesJrA or on twitter @TRFNorskies.