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 Sioux Falls Stampede

Brandon Wildung Returns as Associate Head Coach

May 14, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Sioux Falls Stampede News Release

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Sioux Falls Stampede has officially named Brandon Wildung as the team's Associate Head Coach for the coming season.

"The addition of Brandon as an Associate Head Coach was the first thing I set out to do for many reasons," said Stampede Head Coach Ryan Cruthers. "Working together a season ago, we had great chemistry and I was able to see his work ethic, along with his attention to detail and passion for player development." Cruthers continued, "You want to surround yourself with people who push you and make you better each day and I know Brandon will do that for the staff and our players. Last season at Augustana he was able to develop under Coach Garrett Raboin who is one of the best in the game and our players are going to benefit deeply from his experiences at the NCAA level."

Wildung spent the 2023-2024 season at the NCAA level with the inaugural Augustana Vikings Men's Hockey Program as the goaltending coach. In the team's first season, the Vikings tabbed a 6-5 shootout victory over the now National Champion Denver University. The team earned two wins over nationally ranked programs during the season. Augustana's goaltenders marked 1,072 saves off 1,189 shots on net for a 3.10 goals-against average.

Prior to Augustana, Wildung served as the goaltending coach of the Stampede from 2021-22, then joined the team full-time as an assistant and goaltending coach in 2022-23. He assisted in developing players such as Sam Harris (2023 NHL Draft, Round 5 Pick 133 by the Montreal Canadiens, 2024 NCAA Division I National Champion, Denver), Maxim Strbak (2023 NHL Draft, Round 2 Pick 45 by the Buffalo Sabres, Michigan State), and Isaac Gordon (CCHA Rookie of the Year, Michigan Tech), all of which competed in the NCAA Tournament this season. Along with Harris, Strbak and Gordon, Wildung has helped coach defensemen Evan Murr (CCHA All-Rookie Team, Minnesota State) and Jack Phelan (2023 NHL Draft, Round 5 Pick 137 by the Detroit Red Wings, Wisconsin commit) and forward Chris Pelosi (2023 NHL Draft, Round 3 Pick 92 by the Boston Bruins, Quinnipiac commit).

Stampede Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Tony Gasparini, said, "We are extremely excited to have Brandon back with the Stampede." He says, "Our staff feels he is one of the top young coaches in the game, his knowledge of the league and experience both with the Stampede and college hockey is extensive. He is already a great addition to our organization."

Before joining the Herd, Wildung assisted the Sioux Falls Power 16U AAA teams from 2020-2021. Additionally, he has spent numerous summers training players in the National Hockey League and at the collegiate level.

Collegiately, Wildung was a four-year starter at Mercyhurst University where he recorded 3,037 saves, six shutouts and five assists in 103 games. Additionally, he was named to the All-AHA Tournament Team and completed his collegiate career with a 2.28 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and a career record of 50-40-10.

The Nassau, Minn. native also played professionally in the East Coach Hockey League following the end of his collegiate career. During the 2017-18 season, Wildung completed his four-year career at Mercyhurst and joined the Utah Grizzlies. He played in four games for the Grizzlies marking a 3.27 goals-against average. The following season, Wildung moved to the Manchester Monarchs where he appeared in three games prior to finishing his career as an athlete.

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