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Andy Yohe Will Use His Experience as a Captain When Coaching the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team

By Dan Scifo, 05/07/24, 11:00PM EDT


Yohe, a two-time gold medalist, served as guest coach at U.S. National Sled Team training camp

Andy Yohe won multiple gold medals as a captain of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

Now, he wants to do the same behind the bench.

Yohe is serving in a guest coaching role for the United States at the team’s training camp in Madison, Wis., prior to the 2024 World Para Ice Hockey Championship May 4-12 at WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alberta.

“I love this team and everything it’s about,” Yohe said. “I put so much time and energy into this program. I love being around the team and it’s fantastic to continue to be part of it. Any way that I can help those guys, they always know I’m willing to help.”

Yohe last played for the national team during the 2017 world championship. Now, Yohe is on the Board of Directors for USA Hockey, and he remains in touch with team management as well as current players.

Yohe said that coaching in any capacity at this level has always been a goal.

“Just to be asked to do this is obviously an honor,” Yohe said. “I have so much respect for coaches I’ve had along the way and all the guys before me who helped out with that program. It’s an honor that I take real serious.”

Yohe, 45, has been coaching youth hockey in his home state of Iowa for the last three years, working on his craft and learning how to teach the game to kids like his 10-year-old son, Levi. 

Now he’s returning to his former team in a different capacity.

“It’s definitely a different role from the standpoint that I know many of those guys so well,” Yohe said. “From the last time I captained the team in 2017, half of the roster is still on the team. I know those guys real well as a captain, I know about their personalities, how they might work and what might motivate them. That’s the nice thing of having a lot of that background and knowledge of the players.”

Yohe captained the gold-medal winning teams at the 2014 ParalympicWinter Games in Sochi and the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. He also helped the U.S. win a bronze at the 2006 Paralympics.

On top of his Paralympic success, Yohe claimed a gold medal at the 2009 World Para Ice Hockey Championship.

Yohe sees similarities between his new role of being a coach and his old responsibility of being a captain. 

“I feel that my role has been different over time, from 2006 when I was a new player on the team to when I was captain and one of the top players in the world, and also when I was one of the older guys on the team,” Yohe said. “I won’t be on the ice, but I’m still there to hold guys accountable.”

The U.S. defeated Canada 6-1 to capture its third consecutive and sixth total gold medal at the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship. The U.S. finished the tournament with a 5-0 record and an unbeaten season with 16 wins and two overtime victories.

Yohe said this current stretch of American dominance is due to decades of building up the program. 

“They’ve been on a heck of a run, and a lot of it has to do with the grassroots that has happened within sled hockey over the last 20 or 30 years,” Yohe said. “We’re lucky enough to have a ton of talented people on the roster right now. Sled hockey is real healthy in the United States and both the men’s and women’s program are really continuing to grow and thrive.”

Yohe was a significant part of that growth as a player. He’s now building on his career as a guest coach.

“I just love the team; I love helping out and helping these guys get better. That’s what I really care about.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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