Brandwene named first Penn State varsity women’s coach

Former Penn State club team defenseman Josh Brandwene has been named the Nittany Lions’ first varsity women’s coach.

Brandwene will guide Penn State into its Division I era, which begins with the 2012-13 season.

“We are proud to welcome Josh back to Penn State as the first head coach of the women’s varsity ice hockey team,” Penn State athletic director Tim Curley said in a statement. “His wealth of experience and unique hockey background have prepared him to build our program, and we are excited to have him on board.”

Brandwene’s resume boasts 20 years of coaching and administrative experience at international, collegiate and prep school levels.

He most recently coached the boys and girls teams at Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, Conn. He was an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s team at the 2003 World University Games and led the men’s teams at Delaware, West Virginia and Michigan-Dearborn as well as boys teams at Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) School and Farmington (Conn.) High School.

“I am honored, humbled and thrilled to return to Penn State to lead the women’s ice hockey program at this amazing time in the hockey program’s history,” Brandwene said in a statement. “I truly love every aspect of building a successful program. To have the opportunity to build a program the ‘Penn State Way,’ here at this place that has meant so much to me and shaped who I am as a person and as a coach is a dream come true.”

Brandwene was the MVP of the Penn State 1990 ACHA national championship team, playing for current associate athletic director for ice hockey operations Joe Battista.

“I have known Josh and his family for almost 25 years,” Battista said in a statement. “He was my first recruit as an Icer coach in 1987 and a big part of our early success. He has the perfect skill set to be a successful coach and mentor to the student-athletes in our women’s hockey program. He has incredible passion for Penn State and coaching and has impeccable values, boundless energy and enthusiasm, and shares our culture for Success With Honor.

“Josh has been a builder everywhere he has been, taking each team to unprecedented levels of success. His accomplishments reach beyond any one team or institution as evidenced by his impact on a national level as the only four-term president of the ACHA and a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association Board of Governors. We are proud to welcome him home.”