KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) has tapped into the Western Michigan University hockey program for the newest addition to the 2018/19 KOHA Skills Staff.
Prior to the 2017/18 season, JJ Crew was named as Director of Player Development, assisting Head Coach Andy Murray and his staff in analyzing the development of their student-athletes and areas of improvement for the team.
Crew played 133 games (amassing 20 goals and 35 assists) during his four seasons at WMU. In his senior season, Crew played a big part in WMU's CCHA Tournament Championship at Joe Louis Arena. After his playing career, Crew stepped immediately into coaching; he spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the Hampton Road Whalers of the USPHL Elite League before taking the helm of the Colorado Rampage Junior A team. Crew spent the 16/17 season as a graduate assistant coach at Ohio University, where he helped the team finish ranked No. 2 in ACHA Division I.
Crew is looking forward to a season on the ice with KOHA, "I'm excited about giving back to a youth program in a city I was fortunate to call home for 4 years while I was a Bronco at Western, and where I currently reside now as a staff member. I hope I'm able to make an impact in their lives like my youth coaches did for me, and maybe one day they too can become Broncos!"
KOHA's Hockey Director, Matt Kakabeeke, "JJ brings experience as both an elite player and coach to our staff. His work ethic and skill set will help us in fostering the kind of Club Culture KOHA will be known for moving forward - on the ice, off the ice and in the stands. We are excited to have JJ on board with us this season."
Crew was born and raised in Southern California where he also played roller hockey, baseball and hockey competitively before moving at age 16 to play for the Colorado Rampage. Crew's advice for young players: "Have fun, never quit on something you start, and never let anyone tell you you're not good enough."
Welcome to KOHA, JJ! We are excited to have you in our hockey family!