The Florida Jr. Blades are excited to work towards the 2020-21 season, especially with a whole new trio of coaches manning the benches of their USPHL Premier and USPHL Elite teams.
This spring, the Blades announced Rob Weingartner as new Head Coach and Director Of Hockey Operations, Brian Jacque was named as Associate Head Coach and Ben Myers was named as Goaltending Coach.
A level 4 certified coach, Rob Weingartner brings over 30 years of hockey experience to the Junior Blades organization. For the past eight seasons, Weingartner has managed and coached the Wichita Jr. Thunder of the WSHL, highlighted by capturing the Thorne Cup in 2017.
Weingartner’s coaching career began as an Assistant Coach for the Wichita Thunder (CHL) from 2005 to 2007 where he was then named Head Coach for the remainder of the 2007-08 season. He has also been instrumental in his commitment to develop youth hockey programs in his areas and has instructed numerous hockey camps throughout his career.
“I am excited for my opportunity to coach in the USPHL for the Florida Jr. Blades and work with our amazing staff. Playing out of Hertz Arena and having full access to the training center, Athletic Republic, the Jr. Blades organization has the perfect set up to help players achieve their goals,” said Weingartner. “I look forward to working with the players and building a strong program in southwest Florida for years to come.”
Jacque brings 18 years of experience in hockey, eight years of which were spent coaching. A Level 4, he joins the Jr. Blades from the South Shore Kings’ USPHL Premier and 18U team of the USPHL.
Jacque began coaching the Illiana Blackbirds of the MNJHL (now the USPHL’s Midwest Blackbirds) in 2014-2015 as the assistant coach. He then went on to work in multiple coaching positions until being named Head Coach of the South Shore Kings in 2019. Jacque is a dedicated youth hockey coach whose experience and drive will in improving the Florida Jr. Blades organization.
“I am Incredibly grateful for this opportunity to join the Blades organization,” said Jacque. “Estero is a great hockey community, and I am excited to work with Rob and the rest of the Blades staff to develop players and get them ready for the collegiate level.”
Ben Myers enters his first year as the Florida Jr. Blades Goaltending Coach. He recently retired from playing professional hockey in 2019 after playing for the Birmingham Bulls in the SPHL.
“I'm very excited to be joining the Jr. Everblades organization as their new goaltending coach,” said Myers. “Having recently retired from playing I've been itching to get back into hockey, and when Ron contacted me about the position I knew right away this was the perfect opportunity. I can't wait to get the season going and back in the rink with all the players and staff! It's going to be a great year.”
Before that, Myers played NCAA Division III hockey while attending the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., for four years. During his time there, the team won the MIAC conference three out of the four years. In the 2016-2017 season he was named to the MIAC All-Conference and All-American team after posting an 11-6-3 record, with a 2.33 GAA and .923 save percentage. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Psychology.
His primary responsibility with the Jr. Everblades will be working with and developing both the Premier and Elite goaltenders.
Myers, originally from Milwaukee, Wis., recently moved to Southwest Florida to pursue his new career in Commercial Real Estate with SVN Lotus. In his free time, he volunteers with Kowiachobee Animal Preserve in Naples, where he works with their big cats and helps raise funds for the sanctuary.
The Florida Jr. Blades are members of the USPHL consisting of the top Junior Programs in the US, we are committed to the overall development of the student athlete, a cornerstone of our philosophy and continued success.
For more information on the Florida Jr. Blades, please reach out to Ron Kinnear at firstname.lastname@example.org; Rob Weingartner at email@example.com; or Brian Jacque at firstname.lastname@example.org.