Jason Lesteberg, a former All-America performer at Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.), has been named Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s first women’s ice hockey coach, the school announced.
The program will make its debut as a varsity sport at UWSP in the fall of 2000 after spending the past several years as a club sport.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” said Lesteberg, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the men’s squad at his alma mater after working one season as an assistant with the Gusties’ women’s program. “The commitment UW-Stevens Point has toward athletics is phenomenal. The community, the athletic department and the school are very
committed to hockey and it’s a place I really want to be.”
Lesteberg, 28, played at Gustavus Adolphus from 1993-96 and ranks seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 71 goals and 103 assists for 174 points.
“This is a key hire for us as this is the inaugural year of our varsity women’s ice hockey program,” UW-Stevens Point Director of Athletics Frank O’Brien said. “We are very pleased and excited, after a national search, to have the opportunity to have Jason join us as a Pointer.”
The Pointers have had one of the nation’s most successful NCAA Division III men’s ice hockey programs, making a record six national championship game appearances and winning four national titles — all since 1989. This past season, the men’s squad captured its fifth Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season crown.
This past season, 26 Division III schools sponsored women’s ice hockey, including seven Minnesota schools. The sport also was offered by 25 Division I programs and two Division II schools.