Howell hockey’s new interim head coach comes with heavy experience
February 15, 2012 • Patrick Miller, Sports Editor
Filed under Sports
After becoming the new interim head coach for the Howell varsity hockey team, Darrin Schmitz is ready to lead the Highlanders in the same winning direction.
“I took (the job) mostly because I wanted to help the boys, and I was good friends with all of the previous coaches. I wanted to carry on what they started.”
Schmitz has a large history when it comes to hockey. At age five, he started playing when his father introduced him to the sport. Ever since those days, Schmitz has always remained in hockey.
Schmitz attended Howell High School and played on their hockey team in 1984 and 1985. He earned all-state honors and is in the school’s Hall of Fame. He also used to coach a AAA travel team for Compuware. Schmitz stopped coaching when his son, Beau Schmitz, started playing for the Plymouth Whalers.
“Hockey is my passion because I just really enjoy watching the sport, and it’s an awesome feeling coaching these kids and watching my son succeed in hockey.”
While Schmitz is well qualified for the coaching position, it still hasn’t healed the team’s situation since Mr. Randy Montrose’s firing.
“It has been very difficult coming in and getting accepted by all of the players. Most of them have handled it well, but I know it is a very hard adjustment for all of them.”
So far, Schmitz has earned approval from many, including Howell Athletic Director Dan Hutcheson.
“With the current circumstances, he’s the right person for the job,” Hutcheson said. “He’s someone who can step in and lead the team in the right direction.”
Senior goalie Andrew Brownlee is glad the school chose Schmitz as the interim coach.
“He’s probably one of the best choices for the interim job. I agree with his philosophy that defense and goaltending win championships.”
Schmitz has already been making his mark in the Highlander’s recent practices.
“He’s been having us do everything up-tempo so we’ll be prepared for the fast pace of the game,” Brownlee said.
Even though he has had little time to work with the team, his aspirations for the rest of the season are extremely high.
“I expect the boys to work as hard in school as they do on the ice. My goal is the same as the boys’, to win states.”
The Highlanders seem to be rolling after winning their fourth game in a row. However, there is still much more work to be done.
“We are definitely playing well, but we have not yet reached our full potential,” Brownlee said.
Schmitz really likes the head coaching position at Howell but his future on the squad is uncertain.
“I would love to coach next year, but that will be determined by my current job as an electrician.”