By NIU Hockey – Northern Illinois University has named Brad Stoffers the new Head Coach of their ACHA hockey team! Brad Stoffers comes to NIU from the Chicago Cougars in the USPHL Premier League. He was the first and only Head Coach in the team’s history joining in June 2015 as an expansion franchise in the league and quickly guiding them to a 39-9 record that first season.In his five total seasons with the Cougars an average of 14 players advanced per season, including a total of 51 college commitments, 13 Tier 2 advancements, and 5 Professional contracts signed. His overall record was 155-58-10 (.695) and the team collected 3 Midwest East division championships in 5 years (2018, 2019, 2020) while finishing second once (2016).
During Stoffers tenure the Cougars were known as an offensive juggernaut, playing a modern and uptempo style exciting to watch and allowing players individual skill to shine. This resulted in the Cougars leading the USPHL in Goals Scored in 2019-20 and finishing in the top 5 two other times (1st in 2015-16 and 4th in 2018-19). The Cougars potent Power Play was also ranked top 10 three times during his tenure including 1st in the league in both 2015-16 and 2019-20. Overall, the Cougars came to be known as a very skilled team that was hard to play against and tough to outscore. He will look to bring some of that talent and offensive philosophy to the Huskies this season which should make for an exciting brand of hockey for NIU.
Prior to his arrival in Chicago, Stoffers was most recently an Assistant Coach with the Springfield Jr. Blues in the NAHL and Head Coach of the Nashville Jr. Predators U14 AAA team. He does have previous college experience as a Volunteer Assistant Coach at NCAA Division 1 RPI in 2010 and 2012, on staff for the 2010 team that advanced to the NCAA tournament ending a 26 year drought for the two time National Champion Engineers.
Throughout the early part of his career Stoffers was a Strength and Conditioning coach working the Anaheim Ducks Player Development Camp in 2009 with prospects including Nick Bonino, Cam Fowler, Chris Wagner, Stephane Da Costa, Devante Smith-Pelley, and more. He served as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Trenton Titans (ECHL) during the 2011-12 season, and was a Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Boston University while earning his Master’s degree in Education in 2010.
Stoffers has enjoyed working with players at the Junior level the past 5 seasons, but welcomes the opportunity to get back into the college game and build a program at NIU.“I am very excited for this opportunity and see a lot of positives here surrounding the program. It is an uncertain time to take a new job, but I am embracing the change and look forward to building something special at NIU.”The 2020-21 season will again have the Huskies playing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), the highest level of non-NCAA hockey in the United States. It will be their 2nd season in the ACHA as they look to improve upon their lessons learned in year one and use that valuable experience with a new staff to begin to change the program.The Huskies start in the Fall with the school calendar with their first games scheduled September 25th. The 2020-21 home opener is October 2nd against Robert Morris University at Canlan Ice West Dundee. Go Huskies!