Crouse new coach for Iowa OutlawsAlexandria native Jeff Crouse was promoted to become the new head coach for the North Iowa Outlaws of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) earlier this summer.
Alexandria native Jeff Crouse was promoted to become the new head coach for the North Iowa Outlaws of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) earlier this summer.
Crouse joined the Outlaws midway through the team’s inaugural season in 2005-06, becoming an assistant coach. With the promotion, he becomes only the second head coach in North Iowa history.
This will be his first head coaching position in the NAHL. Crouse, however, has extensive knowledge of the league, having assisted previously with the Sante Fe (now Topeka) Roadrunners and the Alexandria Blizzard.
That knowledge of the league, along with his expertise in developing the defensive corps and the ability to spot hockey talent at many levels, are all indicators that the Outlaws will continue to compete at the highest level in the NAHL.
Crouse helped guide North Iowa to its first ever NAHL Central Division Championship in 2007-2008, due in large part to a defensive unit, backed by goalie Robby Moss, that allowed the second fewest goals in the league during the regular season.
Crouse, his wife, Tracie, and daughter, Jacey, will continue to reside in the Mason City area.
Crouse will be taking over the head coaching duties from another former Alexandria Blizzard coach, Dave Boitz. Boitz and his family will be leaving the North Iowa region for Alaska later this year to take over the head coaching duties for the Alaska Avalanche. The Avalanche is an NAHL franchise based in Wasilla.
The move from Iowa to Alaska was not an easy decision to make for Boitz.
“It has been an amazing period, watching the Outlaws grow into perennial contenders for a championship, which was the goal all along,” he said.
The move to Alaska is as much to enjoy a change in lifestyle, as it is a job-related shift.
“My wife, Kim, and I have so enjoyed our visits in recent years to Alaska and all that it offers that, after much discussion, we are looking forward to calling Alaska our home,” Boitz said.
The Boitz family enjoys spending their time in the outdoors, making Alaska all the more appealing.
Boitz also threw his full support behind the hiring of Crouse to fill his position for North Iowa.
“Jeff and I have partnered in coaching for nearly a decade,” Boitz said. “I have seen firsthand the rapport he develops with players. That strong relationship, along with his ability to recruit outstanding hockey talent and building a team, will ensure that the Outlaws will continue to play at a high level and give the fans of North Iowa plenty to cheer about.”