Former Greyhounds Return to the Bench as Coaches Reinforcing a Winning Culture |

Former Greyhounds Return to the Bench as Coaches Reinforcing a Winning Culture

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: February 11, 2020 11:29 PM

Red and white Duluth East jerseys line the benches at heritage center during game day. Standing behind them, a crew of coaches with a strong dynamic formed in Hounds history.

"All of my staff has played here. That's a big plus, a big bonus for me to have kids who have been in the program, especially kids who have played for me because they know the culture and the expectations that are expected of the kids," said longtime Duluth East boys hockey head coach Mike Randolph.

Years ago, Dylan Mills, Jake Boese, Louie Krenzen and Mike Renier skated under Head Coach Mike Randolph. They didn't get enough of him then, eventually joining his staff as assistant coaches.

"They're obviously huge East fans, they're great hockey coaches, and they have a great rapport with the kids," said Randolph about his staff.

"[Randolph] was a lot meaner back then. He was a lot tougher, [he's] softened up in his days," said Jake Boese, an Assistant Coach for the Greyhounds. 

From 2004-2008, during Boese's high school career,  Duluth East fell short of a state tournament appearance. 

"When I played, you learn about the ups and downs that can happen throughout life and the way that sports can teach it. Especially my junior and senior year," Boese remembered, "just the agony afterwards. I think a lot of these guys out here are having fun, which they should be, it's a fun sports but it goes by fast so they have to really relish everyday."

Now at the helm of the JV squad, and assisting on varsity, his past experiences help mold future Greyhounds.

"Playing JV for Coach Boese, Coach Renier, they kind of prep you for Coach Randolph which is another step up basically. It for sure helps, kind of gets you ready," said Duluth East senior defenseman Ryan Cummings. 

"I mean they know the culture and every single day it's like they're implementing that with us. It's nice to know that everyone knows what Duluth East hockey is about," added Charlie Erickson, a senior forward for the Greyhounds.

Last season Duluth East was bumped out of a run for the Class AA State, claiming the consolation championship. After losing a number of upperclassmen, they've struggled to rebound, including battles with bouts of sickness as the regular season winds down.

"If everyone comes together we've got a little more bonding to do before the season ends and hopefully when the time comes we're all sticking up for each other and playing for each other and just bear down and get the job done," said Cummings. 

The Greyhounds (9-11) close out their regular season Tuesday evening.


Alicia Tipcke

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