The Southern Oregon Spartans announced the hiring of a new head coach on Monday as they continue offseason recruiting for the upcoming season.
The Spartans have hired Jeremy Bachusz, who has spent the past four years as head coach of the Oakland University program in Rochester, Mich., after three years as an assistant with the program. Bachusz becomes the Spartans' third head coach in the last six months, replacing Joe Grimaldi, who was brought into the fold in January after the team parted ways with Mike Stanaway.
The Spartans posted a 13-10 record under Stanaway to open the 2012-13 season, and finished the Western States Hockey League regular season 26-20. Southern Oregon went 3-5 in the WSHL playoffs and 1-2 in the Thorne Cup.
While at Oakland, Bachusz led the Golden Grizzlies to four straight top-12 finishes in the national rankings and a runner-up showing in 2012 at the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championships. He earned coach of the year honors in 2012 for the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League.
Bachusz played NCAA Division I hockey for Lake Superior State University from 1998-2003, and later professionally for a pair of East Coast Hockey League teams.
Assistant coach Adam Novack also comes from Oakland University after four years as a player under Bachusz.
"Our goals for the season are to be a highly competitive, disciplined team focused on competing towards a national championship," Bachusz said in a press release by the Spartans. "The staff will be working hard this offseason to recruit quality athletes both on and off the ice that want to work hard to improve as a player and for the team. We want players in our locker room that love the game of hockey and ultimately want to move on to higher levels of play, including NCAA and the ACHA."
The Spartans issued a statement that said the organization is excited to have Bachusz on board.
"His work ethic, character and hockey knowledge make him a great asset to the Spartans organization," it read. "Because of his years of experience at the college level, he will be able to prepare our players to succeed as he moves them to the next level.
"It is one thing to place a player at the college level, but it's another thing to prepare a player for the demands and rigors of college hockey. Coach Bachusz will meet and exceed the standard of Spartans hockey. We feel fortunate to have him.
The Spartans claimed the Northern Pacific Hockey League title in 2011-12 and advanced to the USA Hockey Tier III Junior National Championships. They finished with a franchise-best 40-12 record.