We are pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Columbus Capitals Head Coaches:
14U Bantam Major 2005 AA - Matt Berner
14U Bantam Minor 2006 AA - Mark Huffnagle
14U Bantam Minor 2006 A - Bryan Balemian
12U Pee Wee Major 2007 AA - Jeff Waselko
12U Pee Wee Minor 2008 AA - Kyle Althen
12U Pee Wee A - Zach Vallette
10U Squirt Major 2009 AA - Steve Ott
10U Squirt Minor 2010 AA - Scott Bricker
10U Squirt A - Jim Jeans
Squirt & Pee Wee A teams - Please note that we are considering fielding a Squirt A and/or a Pee Wee A team. Potential coaches will be identified during the tryout process if we move forward fielding those teams.
Head Coach bios:
2005 A Head Coach - Matt Berner. Matt is a Level 4 USA Hockey certified coach. He grew up playing travel hockey for the Hamburg Hawks organization in Buffalo, NY; winning a New York State Championship and a 4th place finish at Nationals. He attended the US National Team Development Camp and played Division III College Hockey in the SUNYAC League for the Potsdam State Bears. He also played at the college club level for the Wheaton Crusaders. He has coached the 2005A team at CAHA for 3 seasons and pond/house/select teams prior to that. He is an instructor for the Blue Jackets Hockey School and the Jr. Jackets Hockey program. He has taught hockey schools in Canada and New York. He helped coach Dublin Coffman to an appearance in the frozen 4. He is a social studies teacher at Dublin Sells Middle School.
2006 AA Head Coach – Mark Huffnagle. Mark started skating when he was 4 and playing hockey when he was 6. He grew up the youngest of 4 hockey players, all who were taught to skate by a mother who was a speed skater. Mark played hockey through high school and was recruited to play by Ohio State among several other colleges. He continued to pursue hockey as a member of a club hockey team and coached in CAHA as a college student. He also coached the OSU club hockey team for a couple of years. He’s played in the local men’s leagues for over 10 years and still plays once a week. Mark focuses on coaching fundamental skating skills and other hockey skills and tries to enable his players to explore their creativity on the ice.
2006 A Head Coach – Bryan Balemian. Bryan is a Level 4 USA Hockey certified coach. He grew up playing for the Maple Leafs and North Stars in Sylvania, Ohio. He relocated to Columbus where he played for both CCYHA and CAHA travel programs. He continued playing recreational hockey at Ohio State and CAHL adult league. He has coached 15 teams over the last 10 years at AA, A, select and house levels.
2007 AA Head Coach – Jeff Waselko. Jeff is a Level 3 certified USA Hockey coach. He has played adult hockey at all levels for 15 years. Jeff started coaching hockey as a Jr. Jackets skating and hockey instructor and has coached pond, house, select and travel teams at the Mite, Squirt and Pee Wee age groups. Jeff focuses his coaching on skating and hockey fundamentals, position play and team concepts.
2008 AA Head Coach - Kyle Althen. Kyle played high school hockey at Padua Fanciscan in Parma, OH. He played 3 years of junior hockey for the Wooster Oilers and Central Wisconsin Saints. He was the Captain of the Wooster Oilers in his final season. He also played college hockey at the University of Akron and was team President for all 4 years and team Captain his senior season. He was the Associate Head Coach and Director of Scouting for the Oswego Stampede junior hockey club (NA3HL) and was a scout for the Amarillo Bulls (NAHL). He is also a skills coach at Battery Hockey Academy.
2008 AA Head Coach - Steve Ott. Steve is a Level 4 USA Hockey certified coach. He grew up playing travel hockey in the Toledo area, winning Tier II Pee Wee national and midget International Silver Stick titles. Following two years of high school hockey at Sylvania Northview, Steve walked-on and played two seasons at Ohio State (CCHA). He has coached with CAHA in each of the past six seasons (mite house, squirt house/select head coach, pee wee and bantam Capitals AA asst. coach). He also spent three seasons as head coach of the Gahanna HS club team in its early years, his first stint with team coaching. Steve is a strong advocate of the player development path provided by the CAHA organization and looks forward to working with a new group in the upcoming season.
2010 AA Head Coach – Scott Bricker. Scott grew up in Columbus and has played hockey at all levels – youth, high school, college (Eastern Michigan) and juniors (Toledo Cherokee & Gaylord Grizzlies). He’s coached at a variety of levels – house, select, and travel and at a variety of age groups – mini-mite, mite, squirt and high school. He was an assistant coach for CAHA’s 2008AA team in 2017-2018 and head coach for the 2008AA team in 2018-2019.
2010/2009 A Heach Coach - Jim Jeans. Jim and his family have been with CAHA for 5 years. He has lived hockey professionally as an equipment manager for 21 years. He worked for 8 years in professional hockey and for13 years was with Ohio State athletics. While at Ohio State, he worked with USA Hockey, including the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. He has coached house hockey and was an assistant coach for the Bantam select team. He has coached baseball for 10 years at the travel and middle school levels. His coaching goals are to ensure the kids have fun and fall in love with and stay in love with the game of hockey. Skill development is crucial at the squirt minor age group with the transition to full ice and that will be a focus throughout the season. He also believes in kids playing multiple sports and he uses other sports to help explain the concepts of hockey.