Midland University - Fremont, Ne

Midland University names Jason Cirone as Ice Hockey Head Coach

Midland University names Jason Cirone as Ice Hockey Head Coach

Oct 2nd , 2013

Midland University has announced Jason Cirone as the institution's first men's and women's ice hockey head coach. A high-level talent scout with a decade of coaching experience, and a former Olympic and NHL athlete, Cirone brings hockey prowess to the newly launched Midland University programs.

"Jason has honed his craft on Olympic ice and throughout the professional ranks," said Midland President Ben Sasse. "A leader with the kind of experience Jason brings will be noticed by athletes throughout the region and enable us to quickly compete at a high level."
Cirone brings with him more than 10 years of ice hockey coaching experience.  As Associate Coach and Director of Player Personnel, he helped lead the Motor City Metal Jackets to the franchise's first ever North American Hockey League (NAHL) playoff appearance. Most recently, he led the North American 3 Hockey League's Metro Jets to their first playoff appearance in six years.

Announced as the university's newest athletic programs in May, men's and women's ice hockey brought the institution's total varsity sports tally to 27. The ice hockey programs are the latest of 11 varsity sports that the university has added in the last four years. Set to begin play in the fall of 2014, Midland plans to seek membership in the Mid-American College Hockey Association.  

As part of an ongoing commitment to creating lasting opportunities for students to pursue their passions while developing skills for life, Midland has partnered with the Fremont Family YMCA to bring college hockey to Fremont for the first time. As part of the partnership, the Warriors will practice and compete at the Sidner Ice Arena.

"We couldn't be more thrilled about our partnership with Midland and the addition of collegiate hockey to Fremont," said Jason White, YMCA Sidner Ice Arena Director of Hockey.  "I really think the addition of this level of ice hockey to the Fremont area is going to benefit the entire community.  It will be great to have young student-athletes as mentors for youth players and such an electric event available for the community to attend in the winter months."

Midland's commitment to expanding student opportunities, coupled with the recent launch of the university's Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, has resulted in rapid growth for the institution. In the last four years, the college's student population has doubled, and the university has expanded program offerings and scholarship opportunities in athletics, performing arts, and a variety of campus organizations.

Cirone's teams will be a high profile addition to what is now the largest athletic department in the state of Nebraska. In addition to its 27 varsity programs, Midland sponsors 12 JV sports. Housed in the university's tight-knit residential campus, Midland Athletics is comprised of more than 600 student-athletes.

"It is great to be joining such a special institution at Midland," said Cirone. "I'm very grateful for this opportunity and to my former Jets team, President Sasse and the Midland administration for making it possible. I'm excited to help mold these new programs in an awesome atmosphere."

Before arriving at Midland, Cirone made his mark across both amateur and professional ranks. A veteran of the game with 17 years of experience in the ice rink, Cirone spent several years as an NHL athlete with the Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers. He was a part of the Italian National Team in the 2006 Olympic Games and competed in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships on four separate occasions.

"We're excited to welcome Jason into the Midland Athletics family," said Dave Gillespie, Midland University Director of Athletics. "He is the perfect person to lead and build championship ice hockey programs."

Cirone will look to experience in talent evaluation as he develops the Warrior programs. In addition to his head coaching duties, he has spent the last three years as a talent scout for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, one of the top junior ice hockey leagues in Canada. While there he headed the scouting and recruiting operations for the Midwest and Southwest regions of Ontario.

When the Warriors take the ice for the first time in 2014, the addition of a new college hockey program, led by a highly qualified coach, is expected to continue the growth of hockey across the region, bring new visitors to Fremont, and enhance the experience of living and studying at Midland University.