HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Tech head hockey coach Joe Shawhan announced the hiring of Chris Brooks as an assistant coach on Monday (June 26).
Brooks joins the Huskies from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point where he was the head coach of the Pointers over the past six seasons, leading the team to three straight NCAA Division III Frozen Fours and winning the National Title in 2016. Brooks played collegiately at Western Michigan University.
"Chris is going to be a great addition to our staff," Shawhan said. "Having known him for several years, I'm excited for him to bring his enthusiasm for teaching the game of hockey to our program. He has a proven record of success in both recruiting and developing players and will be a great resource for me to rely on. Chris built Stevens Point into a perennial National Championship level program and is a well-respected coach across college hockey."
"I'm honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity that Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret and Head Coach Joe Shawhan have given me," said Brooks. "I look forward to sharing my experiences that I have learned over my years playing and coaching to help continue the great tradition that is Michigan Tech hockey. I look forward to working with all the players and learning from both Joe and Dallas [Steward] moving forward, and my family and I are just extremely excited to join the Michigan Tech community."
Brooks was 119-45-13 (.709 percent) in his six years with the Pointers, while playing in one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the nation. The 2017 team went to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. The 2016 National Championship Team defeated St. Norbert 5-1 in Lake Placid, New York to capture the program's fifth National Title. The Pointers were also NCAA runners up in 2014 and 2015 and won three conference titles.
Brooks was named the USCHO.com Division III Coach of the Year in 2016 and was a finalist for the Edward Jeremiah Award, given to the Division III Coach of the Year, in each of the last four seasons.
Prior to UWSP, Brooks spent three seasons (2008-11) as the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley (Texas) Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League. His teams went 87-86 overall and had playoff appearances in two seasons. He led the team to a franchise-record 35 wins and its first-ever playoff series victory in 2009 and was the runner-up for the league's Coach of the Year award. The team was also named the CHL's Franchise of the Year under Brooks' direction.
Brooks coached for nine seasons (1999-2008) at Western Michigan where he was an assistant for six seasons and the associate head coach for the final three campaigns. His roles included coordinating the Broncos' recruiting efforts, preparing scouting reports, evaluating game video, and organizing the Bronco Summer Hockey Schools.
WMU's recruiting classes from 2002-08 produced eight NHL draft picks. He also managed the practice plan and team travel. Brooks also served as an evaluator for USA Hockey at Michigan Select Festivals in 1999.
As a player, Brooks lettered four seasons with the Broncos (1992-96) and finished as the eighth-leading scorer in school history, compiling 57 goals and 127 assists for 184 points. Brooks led WMU in assists four straight seasons and twice captured the team scoring title (1992-93, 1994-95). He was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams (1993-94, 1995-96) and was the recipient of the CCHA's Rookie of the Year award in 1993. He also received Honorable Mention CCHA All-Academic status.
Brooks went on to play professionally for three seasons with stops in Amarillo (WPHL), Mobile (ECHL), Springfield (AHL), and Kalamazoo (UHL). He led the WPHL in scoring and assists during the 1996-97 season, posting 110 points (45-65=110) in 64 games, earning league MVP honors. After an 82-point campaign with Mobile, he returned to Amarillo and again led the team in scoring (48-57=105) and was the league leader in goals. He also started his coaching career that season, serving as a player/coach, while also being named team MVP and appearing in his second WPHL All-Star Game.
Brooks is originally from Stratford, Ontario and received a bachelor's degree in communication in 1996 and a master's degree in communication with an emphasis in coaching in 2007, both from Western Michigan. Chris and his wife Jeannine have a daughter (Bryar) and a son (Barrett).