Brian Idalski, the head coach of the CGA Hockey program, is headed overseas. Idalski announced his resignation Monday as he was recently named the new head coach of the KRS Vanke Rays, a professional women’s hockey team in Shenzhen, China.
“I’m excited for this unique opportunity,” Idalski said when asked about the transition. “I will miss these girls and their families as I’ve gotten very close with them this past year. I will always cherish these relationships and will follow them and their hockey careers. I’m thankful to Culver for bringing me aboard last year to build this program to national prominence and I’m confident it is headed in the right direction.”
Idalski joined Culver Academies as the CGA Prep Hockey head coach and Assistant Director of Admissions in June 2018. Idalski’s career is noteworthy for his strong talent in building programs and developing players.
Prior to Culver, he most recently led the University of North Dakota’s women’s hockey program from 2007-17 to the NCAA Division I national stage. At UND, he coached the program’s first-ever Olympian in Susanne Fellner (2006 Olympics, German National Team), first-ever active student-athlete Olympians in Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux (2010 Olympics, U.S. National Team), and first-ever recruited Olympian in Michelle Karvinen (2010 Olympics, Finnish National Team). He coached previously at St. Cloud State and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, amassing impressive win-loss records and placing those programs and players in the national spotlight. Idalski has both coaching and playing experience in NCAA and professional league championships. He continues to serve as an instructor in USA Hockey National Development Camps as well as other instructional camps throughout North America.
“There’s no doubt Brian Idalski made an impressive mark on our girls hockey program in just one year. He worked hard to develop players and set high expectations for them, not only on the ice but also as young people of character,” said Culver’s Director of Athletics Louise Ericson. “Not only did he lead our team to a Mid Am District Championship and the program’s first ever berth to USAH Tier-I Nationals, he worked to create a culture of hard work and excellence that will serve the program well for many years to come. We will miss both Brian and Nicole, but wish them the best as they embark on this wonderful adventure in China.”
Nicole Idalski, Brian’s wife, also worked at Culver as a lifeguarding instructor for the Wellness department and as the head CGA Tennis coach and assistant CMA Tennis coach.
Brian Idalski will remain with Culver through June 30th and is offering support with the coaching transition. Culver remains fully committed to having a strong national presence at the USA Hockey Tier-I level and a national search for a new head coach is underway. All inquiries should be directed to Director of Athletics Louise Ericson at email@example.com.
Photo credit: Mo Morales