Vermont adds former American International assistant Wiedler to staff for ’20-21 season

Stephen Wiedler had been with American International since 2015 (photo: RJB Sports/AIC Athletics).

Vermont announced Thursday that Stephen Wiedler will join the coaching staff as an assistant coach for the 2020-21 season.

An assistant coach from 2015 to 2019 at American International, Wiedler earned the title of associate head coach last season. His responsibilities included being the recruiting coordinator, running the penalty kill, and developing the defense.

“We were looking for a coach that was known for having a strong recruiting history, a current global recruiting network and also someone who can teach the modern game,” said first-year Vermont head coach Todd Woodcroft in a statement. “Stephen’s track record, developed over many years nationally but honed specifically at AIC, made it evident he is the coach for this staff. He will work primarily developing our defensemen and our penalty kill and will be our main point of contact for recruiting.

“We interviewed dozens of men and women for this position and without a doubt, Stephen proved to be the ideal fit for UVM hockey.”

Under Wiedler’s tutelage, the AIC defense had great success, allowing a mere 52 goals in 28 Atlantic Hockey games during the 2019-20 campaign, the fewest in AIC’s history, and second-fewest in AHC history. Furthermore, AIC defensemen saw a 275 percent increase in goals scored, a 77 percent increase in assists, and a 95 percent increase in total points during that time.

A key to the defensive success was the team’s penalty kill, which under Wiedler’s direction operated at a program-best 89 percent, making it the fourth-ranked penalty kill in the nation in 2019-20.

“I want to thank (AIC) coach (Eric) Lang for his mentorship, leadership, and friendship over the last five years,” said Wiedler. “When we first sat down as a staff four years ago, he painted a picture of the championship caliber program that AIC hockey was going to become. I leave AIC knowing that we made that vision a reality.”

“Steve has been an integral part of our success here at AIC,” added Lang. “The transformation of our program could not have been accomplished without him. UVM is getting a loyal, dedicated, hardworking coach who cares deeply about the student athletes. I couldn’t be happier for Steve and his family. He will be deeply missed.”