The Oklahoma City Blazers and owner Jake Runey are proud to introduce Josh Berge as their new head coach and general manager for the 2020-21 season. Runey also announced the front office formation for the 2020-21 season as well.
Josh Berge had led the University of Oklahoma Sooners (ACHA Div. 1) for the previous two seasons, leading the Sooners to a 27-26-2 record in a tough WCHL conference, and earning an appearance in the ACHA National Championship tournament.
“I am excited to announce the next coach for the Blazers. Josh has a decorated past as great young coach,” said Runey. “His success in the WSHL and at Oklahoma University made this a no-brainer for us. I am looking forward to working with Josh and putting together a highly competitive team on the ice.”
Prior to his time with OU, Berge was head coach of the Valencia Flyers of the WSHL where he amassed a record of 172-62-13 over four seasons, and was named one of the head coaches of the WSHL All-Star team when they took on the Blazers in 2016’s All-Star Game.
Berge played his junior career in the United States Hockey League for the Lincoln Stars and the Tri City Storm, serving as team captain for all but one of his four seasons in the league. After his playing career, Berge became an assistant coach for the Lincoln. While with the Stars, Berge also served as head coach of the Stars High School program and the lead coach for the Stars developmental program.
(Photo courtesy Candace Riley)
The Blazers and Runey have also announced that Rick Gowin has been named as President of Operations, after stepping into the General Manager role last season.
“Rick has been an instrumental part of this organization for years,” stated Runey. “He knows the brand inside and out. As the new owner it was important for me to have someone by my side who could help me with day-to-day operations and rebuilding this powerhouse of an organization.”
“I want to say how excited I am to be a part of the Blazers HC, LLC and being named President of Operations,” said Gowin. “I look forward to the future of this organization with the announcement of Josh Berge as head coach and GM in charge of player personnel, which will allow me to focus on the business and work closely with owner Jake Runey on the day-to-day operation of the club. We are already in the process of putting promotions together and other ways we can enhance the fan experience. I want to thank Jake for the opportunity he is giving me to continue to work with this organization.”
In addition, the Blazers and Runey have announced that Eric Rodgers will be in charge of Game-Day Operations, and will begin adding duties as assistant general manager.
“Eric has been our play-by-play announcer for over five seasons, and I am excited to keep him involved and expand his role with the team,” said Runey. “He and his wife Breanna have been great volunteers for us and now I look forward with working with him even closer.”
“I’m excited for the future of the club as we head into the new season,” said Rodgers. “With the vision that owner Jake Runey has for this season and beyond, I can’t wait to begin working with Rick and Josh to make this season one of the best for Blazers fan to watch, on and off the ice, and continuing that success beyond.”
Stay tuned this week as more announcements are made for the 2020-21 season!