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2022-23 Travel Team Head Coach Announcements

KOHA is excited to share the coaching selections for the 2022/23 season. KOHA Hockey Director Kyle Bushee is thrilled with the coaching line-up as preparations begin for tryouts and the 2022/23 season. “I am delighted to offer great coaches for each birth year, and I am excited to continue with our player developmental model that is routinely producing teams competing at the highest levels of the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League. We expect our coaches to focus on player and skill development, knowing that the wins will come – as we have proven our formula works.”

10U A (2013) – CASEY DAVIS


12U A (2011) – JEFF THIELMAN

12U AA (2010) – RYAN PENNY


14U A (2009) – JEFF TIMPE

14U AA (2008) – VICTOR ZUREK

16U (2007 & 2006) – JD KALLEWARD





KOHA is excited to announce David Altergott as the head coach of the 12U Girls Travel team. Coach Altergott is a long-time KOHA coach having coached at all levels of the club. Hockey Director Kyle Bushee states, “Dave is a great coach and even better person. His ability to relate to players of all ages, to engage and educate the player make him the perfect choice to lead of girls program.”


Coach Altergott notes, "I look forward to playing a role in developing the skills of the girls on this year’s team and helping lay the groundwork for building a path for future female players within our organization. It’s great to see girls hockey back at KOHA!" 


Executive Director Matt Kakabeeke remarked, “When we began discussions of resurrecting the girls program at KOHA, there was only one choice in my mind – Dave Altergott. Coach Altergott’s passion for the game of hockey and his commitment to growing the girl’s game is unrivaled in our community. We are so happy and lucky to have him!”


The girls travel team tryouts are Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at 7:15PM both days at Wings West. Registration is open – so don’t delay!





The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) is excited to announce Casey Davis as the Head Coach of the 10U A (‘13) K-Wings for the 2022-23 season.


“This is a critical age group to identify coaches that embrace our club’s development philosophy while also fostering a healthy and smooth transition from 8U to 10U, manage parent expectations, and provide a FUN environment for the kids,” said KOHA’s Hockey Director, Kyle Bushee. “Casey has demonstrated his commitment to our development philosophy. I am confident he will provide an amazing experience for our first year travel players,” Bushee noted.


Casey is a native of Grand Rapids and played his youth hockey at GRAHA. Casey went on to play junior hockey for the Grand Rapids Owls. After two seasons with the Owls, Casey joined the Compuware Ambassadors of the NAHL for a season and spent two seasons with the Cleveland Barons before hanging up his skates.


Casey has coached six (6) teams for KOHA in the last 10 years at various ages and levels. Coach Davis led the Pee Wee A Silver team in 2012 and then coached the Bantam B Broncos for a couple seasons. Last year he was on the ice and behind the bench for 12 U AA (09) team as an assistant coach. Casey was also on the KOHA skill development staff for a few seasons. "I have enjoyed watching KOHA grow into a strong ADM program and have personally watched the success with several of the teams over the years,"

Coach Davis shared. Coach Davis has also coached three 8U teams over the last few years and "loves being at the rink and helping wherever I can."


Casey is married to his wife, Heather, residing in Texas Township and works for the Van Buren County Sheriffs Department.


The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) is pleased to announce that JD Kalleward will return to the club as Head Coach of the 16U (‘06 & ‘07) K-Wings for the 2022-23 season.


KOHA’s Hockey Director, Kyle Bushee, recognizes the importance of offering this competition concept for our ‘06 & ‘07 players, "The 16U team will compete in a Midget Split Season format, enabling players developed by by KOHA to continue to compete as a KOHA K-Wings travel team from August until the end of October, take a hiatus while players play locally for their respective High School teams from November until March, before coming back together to continue their travel season. This model offers our KOHA players and families the opportunity to play a travel schedule and competition, but also the ability to play high school hockey - experiencing the best of both worlds."


Kalleward is an asset for these young men, “Coach Kalleward has given himself to the Kalamazoo hockey community for decades, before and after both of his son’s played and excelled in KOHA. This selflessness is just one of many character attributes JD seeks to develop in his players. Coaches can teach the Xs and Os, but JD also embraces the importance of teaching the why of life to his team. JD has been on nearly a 40-year journey of coaching, both hockey and lacrosse, in our community and understands how sports transcends the rink or playing field. As a successful businessman and long-time high school coach, he understands what is important and what needs to be instilled as 16U players transition to high school, to college, and on to professional careers,” said KOHA Executive Director Matt Kakabeeke.


Kalleward holds a USA Hockey Level 5 Coaching Certification, who has been coaching with KOHA in some capacity since 1978. He was a member of KOHA’s Board of Directors for over 16 years, and coached at Portage Northern High School for over 30 years (17 years as an assistant, 15 as head coach). With Kalleward at the helm, PNHS had 15 Hobey Baker HS Character Award recipients and 45 MHSAA Academic All-State individuals. He was behind the bench for 4 MHSAA Final Four appearances, 5 MHSAA Elite Eight appearances, 8 Regional Championships, 10 District titles, and 14 SWMHSHL League Championships. JD is also continues to coach High School hockey with the Kalaamzoo Eagles and is currently leading the Portage Northern Huskies Varsity Lacrosse team.


JD and his wife, Beth, reside in Portage and he works for the Kalleward Group.