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Josh Brandwene
Josh  Brandwene

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Penn State '91


Women's Hockey vs. No. 8 Mercyhurst (2/16/14)

Penn State women's hockey celebrated Senior Day vs. No. 8 Mercyhurst on Feb. 16, 2014.


Women's Hockey at Vermont (10/4/13)

Penn State and Vermont skated to a 3-3 tie on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.


Women's Hockey vs. RIT (10/25/12)

Penn State women's hockey took on RIT in a CHA matchup on Oct. 25, 2012 at Greenberg Ice Pavilion.

The first varsity head coach of Penn State women’s ice hockey, Josh Brandwene enters his fifth year at the helm of the program in 2016-17.

After tallying their highest College Hockey America (CHA) Tournament seed in program history (third), the 2015-16 season came to a close for the Nittany Lions in a 3-2 triple overtime loss in the CHA Semifinal round to No. 2 seed Syracuse – the eighth-longest game in NCAA women’s hockey history.

During the 2015-16 season, the Nittany Lions captured their third win in program history over a ranked opponent (5-3 No. 7/8 Boston University Oct. 9), received votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's College Hockey Poll (Oct. 20) for the first time in program history and recorded a five-game unbeaten streak – the longest  in team history.

In the Penn State record books, the 2015-16 Nittany Lions eclipsed 900 shots on goal for the first time as a program (924) and set program-bests in save percentage (.931), goals against average (1.81), and shutouts (six).

In the classroom, the Nittany Lions maintained their program’s perfect 1.000 APR, improved the team GPA to 3.40, and had a record 17 student-athletes make dean’s list in the spring of 2016. Individually, Laura Bowman became the first women’s hockey student-athlete to receive Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District At-Large First Team honors.

The 2014-15 season featured the Nittany Lions' best season in program history, posting the finest record in school history at 17-16-4 and earning its highest CHA Tournament seed at No. 4. Penn State earned its first wins over a ranked opponent (No. 6 Mercyhurst) and its first conference series sweep against the Lakers. The most improved team in the NCAA from the 2013-14 campaign, the Blue and White set program marks for wins (17), power play goals (23), and shorthanded goals (3) during the year.

After setting the program’s single-season record for goals (16) and shorthanded goals (2), Laura Bowman, December’s CHA Player of the Month, picked up Penn State’s first All-CHA Second Team selection, alongside All-CHA Rookie Team honors for goalie Hannah Ehresmann and defenseman Bella Sutton. Celine Whitlinger also had a breakout season between the pipes, earning single-season marks for goals against average (2.17), goaltender wins (13), and shutouts (3). The two-time CHA Goaltender of the Month also collected six conference Goaltender of the Week accolades, the most in the CHA.

In 2013-14, a freshman recruited by Brandwene, Bowman, earned All-CHA Rookie Team by leading the Nittany Lions in scoring with 10 goals. Penn State’s second season featured a more challenging schedule that featured seven opponents who finished with winning records.

During Penn State’s historic first season, Brandwene orchestrated a season-opening win at Vermont and guided the team through a tough College Hockey America conference season. Under his tutelage, Penn State freshman Shannon Yoxheimer earned a spot on the All-CHA Rookie Team.

Brandwene was named the first head coach of the Penn State women’s ice hockey team on May 31, 2011.

Brandwene, a Penn State alumnus, brings more than 20 years of coaching and administrative experience at the international, collegiate, and prep school levels to Happy Valley. Brandwene’s previous coaching experience included a stint as the Team USA’s men’s ice hockey assistant coach at the 2003 World University Games.

He also served as head boys’ coach at top New England prep program Northfield Mount Hermon School (Mass.) in 2004-07, and head girls’ coach at the Kingsford Oxford School (Conn.) in 2007-10. During his two-year tenure with the Kingsford Oxford girls’ team, Brandwene successfully rebuilt the program and 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. He was then asked to take over the boys’ program in the 2010-11 season prior to arriving at Penn State.

Brandwene’s prep school coaching was preceded by a 10-year stint leading three different American College Hockey Association (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 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 stay (1996-2003), 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 two years 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 from Penn State in 1991 when he became the head coach at Farmington High School (Conn.). 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.

In addition to coaching, Brandwene served as ACHA president from 1997-2004. Under his watch, the organization’s membership more than tripled to 278 teams. A women’s division was also formed in 2000 and a third men’s division was added in 1999. Brandwene was elected to the ACHA Hall of Fame in 2009, the Penn State Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996 and the University of Delaware Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.

A standout defenseman for Penn State’s club hockey team, Brandwene was a member of the 1990 ACHA National Championship team. He earned both team and league MVP honors and garnered first-team All-Tournament recognition as a senior.

Brandwene graduated as the program’s all-time leader in points among defensemen. Brandwene and his wife, Leona, also a Penn State graduate, have a daughter, Sophie.

Head Coaching Experience
2011-present Penn State women
2010-11 Kingswood Oxford boys
2008-10 Kingswood Oxford girls
2004-07 Northfield Mount Hermon boys
2003-04 Michigan Dearborn men
1996-2003 Delaware men
1994-96 West Virginia men
1991-94 Farmington HS boys
International Coaching Experience
2003 Team USA Men's Assistant
World University Games
Playing Experience
1987-91 Penn State
Year Overall Record CHA Record
2012-13 7-26-2 1-17-2
2013-14 4-29-3 1-18-1
2014-15 17-16-4 9-9-2
2015-16 12-19-6 6-8-6
TOTAL 40-90-15 17-52-11


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