On May 31, 2012, Josh Brandwene was named the first-ever head coach of the Penn State women’s ice hockey team. Brandwene, a Penn State alumnus, brings more than 20 years of coaching and administrative experience at the international, collegiate and prep school levels back to Happy Valley.Read More Watch Video
Brandwene’s previous coaching experience included a stint as the assistant coach of Team USA’s men’s ice hockey team at the 2003 World University Games. He also served as head boys’ coach at top New England prep program Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) School, and head girls’ coach at the Kingsford Oxford School in West Hartford, Conn.
During his two-year tenure with the Kingsford Oxford girls’ team, Brandwene successfully rebuilt the program and led the New England Division II prep school team to a runner-up finish at the Canterbury Invitational Tournament and four victories over Division I prep programs.
During his three-year stint with Northfield Mount Hermon (2004-07), Brandwene led the program to the 2005 New England Prep School Hockey Conference-East Championship.
Prior to coaching at the prep school level, Brandwene spent 10 years leading three different ACHA men’s programs, beginning with a two-year stint as head coach at West Virginia (1994-96). He led the program to its first-ever bid to the national tournament and the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship in its first season in the league.
Brandwene then left the Mountaineers to become the head coach and director of youth hockey programs at Delaware. During his seven-year stint, he led the team to three straight ECHA titles and seven consecutive national tournament appearances. In 2001, Delaware advanced to the national championship game and appeared in the semifinals two years later.
After serving as an assistant coach for Team USA at the World University Games, Brandwene spent the 2003-04 season at the University of Michigan Dearborn. He led the program to a 20-win season and collected the 200th win of his ACHA coaching career.
Brandwene began his coaching career immediately after graduating in 1991 when he became the head coach at Farmington (Conn.) High School. In three seasons (1991-94), Brandwene led the program to its first state tournament berth in five years and a trip to the semifinals in his second season.
In addition to coaching, Brandwene served as ACHA president from 1997-2004. Under his watch, the organization’s membership more than tripled to 278 teams. A women’s division was also formed in 2000 and a third men’s division was added in 1999.
The longest-serving president in ACHA history, Brandwene was re-elected for an unprecedented three terms. Prior to that time, no president had served more than one term. He also served a two-year stint on the American Hockey Coaches Association Board of Governors.
Brandwene was elected to the ACHA Hall of Fame in 2009, the Penn State Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996 and the University of Delaware Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.
A standout defenseman for Penn State’s club hockey team, Brandwene was a member of the 1990 ACHA National Championship team. He earned both team and league MVP honors and garnered first-team All-Tournament recognition as a senior. Brandwene graduated as the program’s all-time leader in points among defensemen.
Brandwene and his wife, Leona, also a Penn State graduate, have a daughter, Sophie.