The Royales will soon have a Stanaway leading their locker room once again.
No, not that Stanaway.
Jim Stanaway is on track to take over as head coach of Marquette as soon as contract negotiations are completed. He will be the team’s third head coach in as many years.
“It’s a championship or bust a far as I am concerned,” Stanaway said. “We’re doing our best to recruit a team that the community can be excited about and get behind.”
Stanaway has been with the Royales’ coaching staff since the beginning, starting as the goaltenders coach in 2013-14 then promoted to assistant coach last year. With American Hockey Academy and Goalies, Inc., Stanaway has worked as a goaltender coach for the past few years.
He is also the little brother of Mike Stanaway, the original coach of Marquette Royales. Now with the New York Aviators, Mike took his third different team to Tier 3 National Championship Tournament in four years. While the sibling rivalry is in play, the current Marquette coach is focused on the Royales’ immediate success.
“I’m excited to bring the winning attitude back and who knows, maybe we will see one of Mike’s teams in a championship game somewhere,” Jim said.
Before he played with the Finlandia University Lions and the Fox City Ice Dogs (Appleton, Wisc.) in the Great Lakes Hockey League, Stanaway played at Marquette Senior High School. He’s hoping that hometown edge will bring the excitement back to Royales games.
“When the Royales came to town and the amount of success we had early on, I think that was great for the community. That vibe and excitement per game was something I had not experience since (Northern Michigan University) played in Lakeview Arena,” he said. “We want the Royales to be an event for the community and want all the (fans) to have a favorite player … and maybe by the end of the season we will have some kids in the community that have goals of maybe someday suiting up for the Royales.”
Last year’s head coach Kevin Shupenia will remain as the team’s general manager. He will fill in on the bench if Stanaway is unable to coach.