By: Topher Scott
It doesn’t always happen on our time.
In fact, it rarely ever does. If things that we wanted always happened on our time…we would miss out on the struggle that makes our eventual accomplishments that much sweeter.
And I have to imagine that newly hired St. Lawrence Head Coach, Brent Brekke is feeling every bit of that sweet feeling right now.
My freshman year at Cornell, Brekks was our assistant coach and one of the best. He challenged us, pushed us, and told us what we needed to hear. He wanted to get every ounce out of us that we possibly could give…and probably did.
I remember sitting around with my teammates at some point that year and speaking like there was no way Brekks would be around for all four of our years we’d be there. He was too good. It wasn’t a question of “if” he was going to get a head coaching job…but “when.” And that “when” to us would surely be soon.
Fast forward fifteen years and he finally landed a gig worthy of his coaching ability. St. Lawrence hit a grand slam with this hire and I couldn’t be happier for one of my biggest mentors in the game.
Brekks saw something in me as a player and gave me an opportunity to follow my dream of playing college hockey. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at Cornell…getting an awesome degree and winning championships with teammates that still remain best friends.
He also saw something in me as a coach and gave me an opportunity to follow my dream of coaching college hockey. Brekks and I connected for a phone call to catch up my second year of playing pro. I wasn’t done playing but I knew I wanted to get into coaching at some point…so I asked him if there was anything I should do to get my name out there if future positions opened up down the road.
Without hesitation, he offered me to come on staff at Miami as a graduate assistant coach. And although it was agonizing, it was an opportunity to work with him, and a top college hockey program…an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Brekks literally changed the trajectory of my life in the greatest fashion possible on two different occasions…and for that I will forever be grateful.
He’s been an incredible coach, mentor, and friend. One of the guys that would give you the shirt off his back. The coach that called every player on Christmas Day to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas…even though he was going to see you the next day.
I hope this hire starts a trend of colleges taking chances on top assistants that do things the right way. The ones like Brekks, Benny Syer, Steve Miller, and others that have consistently built great programs and deserve a chance to run their own. College hockey needs more guys like these in head jobs with the recruiting landscape as crazy, callous, and confusing as it is today.
Brekks is a man of incredible integrity, and the kids at St. Lawrence are extremely lucky to have him. It’s about time he finally got his shot to lead a program, and I’m excited to watch the Skating Saints flourish under his direction!!