Ben Pherson, email@example.com Updated Nov 22, 2016
Eric Hofmann was recently named head coach of the Rochester Ice Hawks after longtime coach Nick Fatis stepped down to take a role in the front office. Hofmann is a Streamwood, Ill., native and the former Dodge County Wildcats boys hockey coach. He spent two different stints as an assistant with the Ice Hawks before taking over as head coach last week. Hofmann is married (Lindsey) and has a 10-month-old son (Harrison); the Hofmanns reside in Dodge Center. Today, Hofmann is in the hot seat with the Sizzling Six.
1. You’re suddenly a head coach. Overwhelmed yet or just enjoying the new role?
HOFMANN: Yes to both! There are considerable more responsibilities now in this role; I have been fortunate these last three seasons to have had the opportunity to work with coach Fatis and to have had the opportunity to grow as a person as well as a coach with various responsibilities within the organization. The coaching staff and I have been busy since last week. Our goals are the same as before. Now, we hope we can take a narrative that coach Fatis would want us to. I think I can speak for the rest of the staff and say we are enjoying our new roles and having fun with it.
2. What needs to change for this team to start consistently winning games?
HOFMANN: Accountability. To each other, to ourselves, to the community. If we want to be better as a unit, we need to hold each other accountable on and off the ice.
3. Is there anyone on this year’s team you think has the potential to play Division I hockey?
HOFMANN: Most of our players have natural size and raw skillsets. I believe any one of our players has potential to move on to the highest level; it really comes down to their own rhetoric, work ethic and personal sacrifices they are willing to make to achieve their dreams and goals.
4. How has the team responded to losing coach Fatis?
HOFMANN: It’s early, yet, but I feel they have responded to coach Bolin, coach Susi and myself in a positive way. However, over time I think we will see how and what their response is to our coaching staff change.
5. How much did you learn from coach Fatis?
HOFMANN: A lot. I am grateful for having the opportunity I have had as a young coach, to have worked with coach Fatis over the years and for the room and opportunity to grow that he gave me. Not many head coaches give assistant coaches responsibilities that involve player management, offensive, defensive and special team schemes, and he did that with me. Coach Fatis has always been patient with myself, and over time, respected my opinions both personally and professionally. I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to continue to consume 20-plus years of knowledge and experience as a father, man and coach.
6. If you could pick a walk-out song for when you headed to the bench, what would it be?
HOFMANN: This is a great question. While there are many songs I could think of, there is only one that highlights how I feel we are as a unit and the direction we are going, that being ‘Started from the Bottom’ by Drake. The song by Drake highlights many things within this team and where we are currently at, where we want to be and where we are going.