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Coaching Staff

The Penn State Girls Ice Hockey Camp prides itself on attracting instructors from the best college and team programs in the nation to serve the needs of participants.

Head coach Josh Brandwene

Josh Brandwene

Josh Brandwene, who brings over 20 years of coaching and administrative experience at the international, collegiate and prep school levels, was named the first-ever head coach of the Penn State women's ice hockey team on May 31, 2011.

Brandwene led the Nittany Lions to the program's historic first win on Oct. 6, 2012 over Vermont in the team's first game. Additionally, he led the team to its first College Hockey America win over Lindenwood on Nov. 17, 2012.
Behind the bench, Brandwene's previous coaching experience included a stint as the assistant coach of Team USA's men's ice hockey team at the 2003 World University Games. He also served as head coach of the men's team at ACHA-power Delaware and the boys' coach at top New England prep program Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) School.

Brandwene most recently worked at the Kingsford Oxford School in West Haven, Conn., leading the boys' hockey team in 2010-11 after spending the two previous seasons at the helm of the girls' squad. During his tenure with the girls' program, Brandwene led the New England Division II prep school team to a runner-up finish at the Canterbury Invitational Tournament and four victories over Division I prep programs.

During his three-year stint with Northfield Mount Hermon (2004-07), Brandwene led the program to the 2005 New England Prep School Hockey Conference-East Championship.

Prior to coaching at the prep school level, Brandwene spent 10 years leading three different ACHA men's programs, beginning with a two-year stint as head coach at West Virginia (1994-96). He led the program to its first-ever bid to the national tournament and the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship in its first season in the league.

Brandwene then left the Mountaineers to become the head coach and director of youth hockey programs at Delaware. During his seven-year stint, he led the team to three straight ECHA titles and seven consecutive national tournament appearances. In 2001, Delaware advanced to the national championship game and appeared in the semifinals a year later.

After serving as an assistant coach for Team USA at the World University Games, Brandwene spent the 2003-04 season at the University of Michigan Dearborn. He led the program to a 20-win season and collected the 200th win of his ACHA coaching career.

Brandwene began his coaching career immediately after graduating in 1991 when he became the head coach at Farmington (Conn.) High School. In three seasons (1991-94), Brandwene led the program to its first state tournament berth in five years and a trip to the semifinals in his second season.

Asst coach Courtney Drennen

Courtney Drennen

Penn State women's hockey announced its newest member of the coaching staff on Monday, June 2 as Courtney Drennen was tabbed by head coach Josh Brandwene. Drennen comes to Hockey Valley after two seasons as an assistant at Wesleyan University and three years at North Dakota.

"Courtney brings outstanding playing and coaching experience to our program," Brandwene said. "She has a positive coaching style and skill set that is an exact match for our student athletes. We are excited to welcome Courtney to the Penn State hockey family."

Drennen is a 2009 graduate of Mercyhurst University, a Penn State rival in College Hockey America, compiling a record of 26-4-2 between the pipes for the Lakers. After her time at Mercyhurst, she joined the North Dakota coaching staff for three seasons before arriving at Wesleyan University.

"I am honored and excited to be joining the Penn State women's hockey program," said Drennen. "Penn State has an amazing tradition of success in athletics, and I am eager to be part of this tradition. Being part of a program that is so well supported by the University, its administration, and the local community is a great opportunity. Returning to College Hockey America will be thrilling and challenging, and I am excited to face these familiar programs behind the Penn State bench."

Most recently at Wesleyan, Drennen helped steer the program from a 4-20-0 overall record in the year before she arrived in Middletown, Conn. (2011-12) to a 8-11-6 mark in the 2013-14 season. The Cardinals allowed 89 goals in that 2011-12 season (3.71 goals against per game), but gave up just 53 goals under Drennen's tutelage (2.12 allowed per game) in 2013-14.

At North Dakota (2009-12), Drennen was the goalie coach and video coordinator. In 2011-12, North Dakota finished with a 22-12-3 record and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. While at UND, Drennen began her Master's degree in Public History. In 2010-11, Drennen was also the girls' player development director for the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association.

As a Mercyhurst student-athlete, Drennen was part of some of the most successful teams in Laker history, including the 2008-09 squad that reached the Women's Frozen Four title game. Drennen started 30 of the 37 games in which she played, compiling a .927 save percentage and a 1.42 GAA with eight shutouts. Mercyhurst went an impressive 112-24-12 during her four years in Erie.

In addition to her experience at Wesleyan and North Dakota, Drennen has been an instructor for ProCrease Goaltending Institute since 2012 as well as the te USA Hockey National Festival Camps (2010-12). She remains a part of the USA Hockey District Selection and Development Camps for the Atlantic, New England and Rocky Mountain Regions since 2010.

Asst coach Alex Dawes

Alex Dawes

Alex Dawes enters his second year at Penn State, his first as interim assistant coach. Last July, Dawes was brought on board to serve as Penn State's director of operations. A 2012 graduate of Utica, he served as director of operations/student assistant coach of the Pioneer men's team (2009-12).

At Penn State, Dawes is now a member of the on-ice coaching staff with the team. He'll continue to oversee the day-to-day operation of the program including game scheduling, away trip management, home game day coordination, video operator and editor.

While at Utica, Dawes primarily oversaw the day-to-day operations of the men's hockey team and helped develop video breakdowns. Additionally, Dawes assisted in Utica's recruiting efforts and the team's expenditures.

During his time at UC, the Pioneers improved every season, going from a 8-14-4 record in 2009-10 to a 21-6-1 record in 2012-13 en route to the NCAA Division III Semifinals. Dawes also played a part in Utica College's fundraising effort.

Prior to Utica, Dawes spent his freshman year, 2008-09, at Vermont as a student video coordinator and director of hockey operations. That year, the Catamounts reached the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 1996 as he created all video breakdowns and was responsible for logistical and physical operations.

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