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Madison Capitols hire Luke Strand as head coach, general manager

After the surprising departure of Steve Miller, the USHL's expansion Madison Capitols have hired Eau Claire native Luke Strand.

Just days after announcing the resignation of Steve Miller, the Madison Capitols announced the hiring of new head coach and general manager Luke Strand on Thursday.

"On behalf our entire ownership group, we are thrilled to have Luke as our GM & Head Coach," Capitols managing partner Tom Garrity said. "His experience, leadership and passion for the USHL and the Madison Capitols is evident, and we are extremely excited about the team's future."

Strand spent this past season as the general manager of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, where he previously served as head coach from 2009-11. Strand also served as a coach for the Team Wisconsin U-16 program that went on to win the USA Hockey National Championship this spring.

"I am excited for the opportunity to join the Madison Capitols organization and Madtown Hockey LLC," said Strand. "My passion and desires for the state of Wisconsin and the hockey within the state is something that I cannot resist. I look forward to creating a winning team and culture on the ice and in the Madison community."

An Eau Claire, Wisconsin, native, Strand also held two assistant coaching positions in the American Hockey League, with the Houston Aeros from 2007-09, and the Abbotsford Heat from 2011-13.

Strand played in the USHL with the North Iowa Huskies from 1991-93 before playing four years at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Strand is also familiar with the Madison hockey scene, having played for the United Hockey League's Madison Monsters/Kodiaks franchise from 1997-2000.

The Madison Capitols are an expansion USHL franchise and will play their inaugural season this fall at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center. The Wisconsin men's hockey team played at the Coliseum from 1967-98.

The hire is a brilliant one for a franchise looking to gain a foothold in the state. Strand has strong ties as a player and coach in the state, which should complement associate head coach Keith Paulsen perfectly. Strand and Paulsen previously coached together in Sioux City.

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