MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Florida Institute of Technology ice hockey team, a club sport at the university, recently named Fern Kidder as head coach. Kidder leads the program after a summer-long search and replaces Bret Thompson, who committed two years to coaching the team.
“We’re thrilled to have Fern as our new head coach,” said Rob McIntosh, team president. “He’s very motivated and eager to bring success to our program, both on and off the ice. We’re very fortunate to have someone like him with us.”
Kidder played four years of Division I American College Hockey Association (ACHA) hockey at Western Michigan University Division I ACHA. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2004 and received his master’s in human resource management in 2010. He moved to Orlando, in 2005 and began to teach high school honors world history and is currently director of in-school structures and varsity girls lacrosse head coach at Timber Creek High School. Since then he has helped coach and facilitate many clinics with multiple age groups in Florida.
“I am excited to take my skills to the next level. Coaching at a college has been a passion of mine, which I will finally fulfill at Florida Tech. With the support of the school, community and the students, this program can move to higher levels. I don’t want to just build a team at Florida Tech, but a program that is professional and here to stay for many years to come.”
Joining Kidder will be assistant coaches Zach Jackson and Chris Dean.
Jackson played at James Madison University for three seasons. The program, founded in his freshman year, had by his senior year made his school a back-to-back playoff contender with a solid foundation. He played in camps in Sweden as well as southeast regional select teams for under age 18. Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in sports and recreation management, and a minor in business.
“I’ve always wanted the opportunity to coach with Fern. I see nothing but positive progression in the Florida Tech program with him behind the bench,” said Jackson.
Dean, a Florida Tech alumnus, played for two seasons before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2010. He grew up playing ice hockey in Maine and with the University of Maine’s Division II National College Roller Hockey Association team before transferring to Florida Tech in 2008.
“The ambition of the current leadership is just what this program needs and I look forward to an exciting upcoming season,” said Dean. “It will be great to work with Fern and build a solid foundation for this program. Hockey was very important to me at Florida Tech, and I want to be sure future students have the same opportunity I did to enjoy playing hockey while receiving a world class education.”
The Florida Tech hockey team is a member of Division III in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.