SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City Musketeers have announced Luke Strand as the 11th head coach in franchise history. Strand rejoins the Musketeers organization after spending last season as an amateur scout with the Calgary Flames.
“I just want to thank the ownership for giving me this opportunity," Strand said. "I look forward to helping the Musketeers from the front office to the hockey side, that’s what I really look forward to doing.
“I would really like to thank Brad Treliving and the Flames organization for letting me work on the scouting and management side of things at the NHL level,” Strand added. “I think all those experiences helped me on both sides. The amount of hockey I was able to view helped me learn more than ever, we are really going to be on top of guys’ details now and I have observed different management structures and how they operate best. It’s a small nuance I get to bring back to the organization.”
A native of Wisconsin, Strand has gained coaching and management experience at various levels of the game, including with the Musketeers. Strand began his coaching career as an assistant with the Green Bay Gamblers from 2003-05. He was then hired to the same position by the AHL's Houston Aeros, serving in that role from 2007-09 before being named the head coach and general manager of the Musketeers, filling that position from 2009-11. He also served as the team's general manager during the 2013-14 season.
Strand had a 58-47-15 two-year mark with the Musketeers including a 2011 Clark Cup Playoff berth.
His other experience in hockey includes stints as an assistant coach with the Abbotsford Heat (AHL) and the University of Wisconsin, as well as the head coach and general manager of the USHL's Madison Capitols, in addition to working for the Flames organization last season. Strand also played two seasons with the USHL's North Iowa Huskies, tallying 34 points (8G, 26A) in 83 career games from 1991-93.
"We are excited to have someone from our family join the Musketeers," Sioux City owner Lloyd Ney said. "His familiarity with our team is really going to serve him well as he transitions into his new role."
Strand replaces Jay Varady, who was recently named the head coach of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs.
In four seasons with the Musketeers, Varady amassed a total record of 136-88-10 making him the third winningest coach in franchise history behind Dave Siciliano and Bob Ferguson.
Varady led the team to a Clark Cup Final appearance, two Western conference Final appearances, and two Western Conference Championships.