Polars choose Peasley as new boys hockey coach

Peasley replaces longtime head coach Diebel

North High alum, former All-Conference standout and current assistant hockey coach Nate Peasley has been chosen as the Polars’ new head hockey coach.

“It really means a lot. I’ve had a lot of good memories from North being a player, and [I’m] just looking forward to the next step of my coaching endeavors,” Peasley said. “I’m looking forward to the season.”

Peasley takes over for longtime head coach Jerry Diebel, who retired this season after being with the Polars for over two decades and coaching Peasley during his high school days. Also retiring this season were assistant coaches John “Andy” Anderson and Thom O’Neill.

“I’ve known him since he was a ninth-grader; he played hockey with us for four years,” Diebel said of Peasley. “[He’s a] hard worker, really made himself into a good player, so I know he’ll be a good coach because of that.”

Peasley played for Diebel, Anderson and O’Neill at North High through 2003 and received All-Conference Honors as a defenseman. After high school, he went on to play at Bethel University, where he played for four years, notching a career-best 13 points his sophomore season.

Diebel says his experience at multiple levels will help him, but his ability to connect with the players is where he’ll succeed the most.

“Best thing about him is that he’s doing it for the right reasons. He’s doing it for the boys,” Diebel said. “He knows the X’s and O’s, but that’s still secondary. The environment for the kids is what comes first.”

Coach Peasley said that he’s looking to play an up-tempo style, but won’t have an offensive or defensive scheme fully complete until the roster is fully formed.

“Each year’s different. You can’t go in as a coach and say, ‘This is how I’m going to do things’ all the time. Things change; players change.”

Tim Faklis can be reached by phone at 651-748-7814, by email at tfaklis@lillienews.com or on Twitter @tfaklisnews.

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