Former Utica assistant, Miami defenseman Findorff tabbed new Niagara assistant

Niagara announced Tuesday the hiring of Michael Findorff as the team’s new assistant coach.

Findorff replaces Tim Madsen, who took a head coaching job with the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness earlier this summer.

“Michael is a perfect fit for Niagara hockey and my new staff,” Purple Eagles coach Dave Burkholder said in a statement. “I have found him to be very knowledgeable and passionate about college coaching. He played at Miami of Ohio during one of their most successful runs, including four NCAA tournament appearances and a Frozen Four in 2009. He comes highly regarded from former coaches that he has played and worked for, including Rico Blasi (Miami) and Gary Heenan (Utica). I am very excited for our team to meet Mike and to get him immersed and acclimated for the upcoming season. I welcome Michael and his wife Tara to the Niagara University community. We are lucky to have them.”

Findorff spent the 2015-16 as an assistant coach at Utica, where he assisted Heenan with all facets of the program, including day-to-day operations, scouting, recruiting and game and practice preparation. Findorff was involved with goalie training, power play and penalty kill strategy for the Pioneers, in addition to operations such as team travel and practice schedule.

Prior to Utica, Findorff was the general manager and coaching director for Tahoe Sports and Entertainment in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., from 2014 to 2015. He eventually became a co-founder, director and head coach of the Elevate Academy program for elite hockey training. His duties included leading all on- and off-ice practices and recruiting players to join the training program from across California and Nevada. His accomplishments included winning the 2015 Northern California High School Hockey League and placing six players in AAA hockey or into prep school programs.

A four-year defenseman for the RedHawks from 2005 to 2009, Findorff also coached the Miami University Youth Hockey team and ran summer camps at Colorado College during the summers. Findorff played professionally in the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes organizations.

“I am very excited to get to work with the Niagara hockey program,” Findorff said in a statement. “Joining this coaching staff is a tremendous honor, and I would like to thank Coach Burkholder for the opportunity. Thank you to Coach Heenan and the Utica Pioneers as well for helping me begin my coaching career this past season.”

A native of Colorado Springs, Findorff graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in business-management information systems with a minor in world political history. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Utica.