Brandwene joins Alvernia’s staff after serving as the first head coach of Penn State’s varsity women’s ice hockey program. Brandwene was with the Nittany Lions for five seasons. He guided the program to a third place finish and two College Hockey America Tournament first round victories and semifinal appearances. Brandwene also led the team to a perfect four-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate, which measures Division I student athlete retention and eligibility.
“We are excited to be starting our new women’s ice hockey program,” said Stiles. “Josh had success building an NCAA program from the ground up, and we are thrilled to add him to the Alvernia family.”
“The conversations we had with Penn State administrators and student-athletes who played for Josh underscore his commitment to development on and off the ice,” added Stiles. “We believe he will be an excellent addition to Alvernia’s athletics staff and are excited to see where he will lead the program.”
Prior to his time at Penn State, Brandwene has collected coaching experience at the men’s collegiate level as well as at the boys and girls prep school level. From 2008-10, Brandwene served as the head coach coach of the girls’ ice hockey program at the Kingswood-Oxford School in West Hartford, Connecticut before taking over the boys’ program from 2010-11.
Brandwene also has experience as the head coach of the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s ice hockey program from 2003-2004, was the head coach of the University of Delaware’s men’s program from 1996-2003, and was the head coach of West Virginia University’s men’s program from 1994-1996.
Brandwene is a 1991 graduate of Penn State where he was a four year member of the men’s hockey team. He was a three time ICHL 1st Team All-Star, an ICHL MVP, and was a captain of the team his senior year. Brandwene is also a member of Penn State’s Hockey Hall of Fame and the ACHA Hall of Fame
“I am very excited to join an athletic department that is expanding intercollegiate athletics, and is committed to the growth of women’s ice hockey,” said Bradwene. “I’m honored to represent Alvernia University. I look forward to partnering with great colleagues, and building a quality women’s ice hockey program.”
Women’s Ice Hockey will be Alvernia’s 27th sport. Competition will begin in the fall of 2019. Alvernia will be just the seventh Division III college or university to sponsor Women’s Ice Hockey as a varsity sport, and will be the fifth member of the Middle Atlantic Conference which just wrapped up its inaugural season with Stevenson, Manhattanville, Lebanon Valley, and King’s all participating. Wilkes University will join the league schedule in 2018-19 with Alvernia coming on board for the MAC’s third season.