Spartan hockey ready to Wynne with new head coach


David Ellis

Eddie Wynne coaching the 2017-18 team from the bench. He will be back to coaching from the bench this year, this time as head coach “There’s a lot of comradery, and chemistry with him being back” - Julie Friend.

Sarah Oppenheim, Staff Writer

The Spartan hockey team has had both success and failure over the years, including an appearance in the state tournament in 2016 and a 4-20 record last season. With head coach Matt Funk leaving to take the head coach job at Cretin-Derham Hall, Eddie Wynne has been named the new head coach of the Spartans, but who is he and what will the transition be like?

Eddie Wynne has been part of the Spartan hockey coaching staff for six years. Wynne has had diverse experience, switching from defensive coordinator to offensive, and now has accepted the role as the new head coach. The coaching staff has all been together for a while now, and has become a pretty tight knit group of friends.

“There’s a lot of camaraderie, and chemistry with him being back,” Julie Friend said. Friend works as the athletic assistant and goalie coach for both the girls and boys hockey teams.

Wynne and Justin Gese, the offensive coach this season, have known each other for over 30 years. They used to play hockey together as Peewees right here in Minnesota.

Wynne also used to coach someone who is on the staff now, Karl Hommeyer, the head coach of the JV hockey team: “I coached [Hommeyer] when he was a senior at SPA and have known him since then,” Wynne said.

Having a new head coach might seem like a big transition, but it seems like not much is changing for the group. Adam Zukowski the team captain says “He’s (Wynne) been my coach for years now, and It’s always nice to know i’ll still been able to lean on him.”

He’s been my coach for years now, and it’s always nice to know I’ll still be able to lean on him.”

— Adam Zukowski

Eddie Wynne, who played hockey himself, did not realize how much work the head coach position requires. “It will be a learning process, that will get better as I get everything squared away” he said.

He talked about former head coach Matt Funk highly: “I didn’t know how much work [Funk] put into it,” but he is is very excited for a new season.

There was only one senior on last year’s team, so he’s not worried about having the right players as he worked with many of them the year before. Instead, he is more concerned about how the players will respond to having him in a higher level of authority he said.

To help the transition go smoothly, Wynne does not plan to change much of the coaching formula, except for taking a more strict approach with the players. “My style is a little bit more disciplined; I’ll make the kids be responsible for their actions,” he said.

He respects the way Funk coached and is keeping everything pretty similar, but he does believe the boys should have more responsibility and take the consequences. The Spartan hockey team has been influenced by Eddie Wynne for many years, but this year he has full control, and — with a group of friends supporting him — he will finally be head coach.