St. Cloud named Bemidji State coach Jason Lesteberg as its new women’s coach, according to the St. Cloud Times.
The newspaper said Lesteberg, 30, signed a four-year contract Tuesday morning, replacing Kerry Brodt Wethington, who said she would resign during the middle of last season.
The school picked Lesteberg over Canadian Olympic assistant Melody Davidson, South St. Paul High School coach Dave Palmquist and America West Hockey League commissioner Steve Nelson.
“Professionally, I really like this campus,” Lesteberg told the Times. “The facilities are phenomenal. All the key elements to success are here. That’s where I want to be.”
“We were immediately impressed with Jason’s knowledge, energy and work ethic, said St. Cloud athletic director Dr. Morris Kurtz. “It was obvious to everyone involved in the search that this individual could build on the foundation set by Coach Brodt Wethington and catapult the Huskies’ women’s hockey program into national prominence.”
The Huskies finished 6-17-1 in the WCHA last season and 7-26-1 overall.
Bemidji was 12-13-8 overall, 7-11-6 in the league. The Beavers were 9-24-1 the year before he arrived.
Before becoming the head coach at Bemidji State, Lesteberg served as women’s hockey coach at Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 2000 to 2001. He led the Pointers to a 13-13-1 record in their first season of varsity women’s ice hockey competition.
Lesteberg is a 1996 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus.
St. Cloud posted its only winning overall record (17-16-2) in 2000-2001. But the Times said more than a dozen players have since quit, transferred, been declared academically ineligible, or been released from the team.