By Shereen Siewert
Wausau’s North American 3 Hockey League team will be renamed the Wausau Cyclones after an ownership transfer, bringing back a historic name in the city’s hockey history.
Duncan Woodhull, owner of the Wausau RiverWolves franchise, will transfer the team’s ownership to a five-person management group, the team announced on Friday. Brad Fehl, Brian Brandt, Jr.; Corey Garrett, Hannah Westbrook and Curt White will assume ownership under the umbrella of Hockey Management Group, LLC.
The original Wausau Cyclones hockey team was founded in 1972 by Walter “Coke” Fehl, and played at Marathon Park for decades. The team disbanded in the early 2000s.
“Our ownership group is excited to bring back some local hockey history in the Cyclones, but also share it with the greater Central Wisconsin community,” the new management group said, in a prepared release. “Hockey has a deep and rich tradition in Central Wisconsin, and we want to continue to add to that. We look forward to the Cyclones being a regional asset for the development of hockey skills, personal growth that enhances players and coaches of all ages and providing entertainment and service to the community we know and love.”
Brad Fehl is the son of Walter “Coke” Fehl, who was instrumental in starting up local youth hockey programs in the city. Brad said his family worked hard to give local high school area graduates a place to continue their hockey aspirations.
Walter Fehl was the owner and coach while his wife sold tickets and sponsorships. Like his father, Brad Fehl pursued leadership and coaching roles in Wausau area youth teams throughout his adult life and is passionate about giving back to the community. He currently sits on the board of directors for Marathon County Youth Hockey.
Brian Brandt Jr. was born and raised in Wausau and has been involved in various levels of hockey since returning to his hometown in 2005. Brandt said he is passionate about player/coach development and giving team members the tools to advance themselves in the sport while being great members of the community. As a coach with Wausau West High School, Brandt helped numerous players advance their hockey careers, including players who went on to excel in the USHL (8), NAHL (12), DIII (6) and DI (7).
Hannah Westbrook grew up in Laramie, Wyo. She played Division 1 college hockey the University of Vermont, where she got her bachelor’s degree in Community Development and Applied Economics with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. After graduating from college, she went on to play professionally for three years in Sweden, Finland, and Australia. Hannah currently resides in Denver, where she is an ambassador for women’s hockey serving as a director for the Colorado Select, and is an on-ice skills and power skating coach.
Corey Garrett grew up in Wausau and graduated from Wausau West High School in 2006. Garrett played high school hockey under Pete Susen’s before playing collegiately at Lawrence University. Following college, he played professionally in Finland. Garrett have been coaching hockey since 2008 and is currently a volunteer assistant with Wausau West High School.
Curt White began his business activities as a co-op at Dow Chemical in 1962. He has specialized in antimicrobial agents and he has been involved in invention, development, regulatory compliance, and commercialization of technologies for the control and elimination of bacteria, fungi, algae, and viruses that cause deterioration, staining and human, plant, and animal health and well-being problems. White now consults with startup and developmental technology companies on a global scale. He has been a sports participant, coach, and fan all of his life.
White, who lives in Wausau with his wife and family, said he shares the vision of the founding partners of the Wausau Cyclones for the team to become a regional asset for the development of hockey skills and personal growth that enhances players of all ages and their lives, the community, the country and the world. These are values that are fortified by coaches, family, and community with the Cyclones as a platform.
All current staff will stay in place, including Director of Business Operations Zach Serwe, Head Coach Colin Bailey and Assistant Coach Jonah Williams.
The Cyclones are members of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), one of three USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues that serve as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification. The primary mission of the NA3HL is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes who have aspirations of playing in the NAHL or United States Hockey League and eventually the NCAA or American College Hockey Association. For more information, visit wausaucyclones.com.