Bruins ink Howard to a multi-year contract

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Austin Bruins, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce a multi-year contract extension with head coach and General Manager Steve Howard.

“I am excited to be staying here in Austin,” Howard said. “I would like to thank both Craig Patrick and Mike Cooper for hiring me and giving me the opportunity to become an NAHL Head Coach seven seasons ago. They were great owners and will always be two of my closest friends. I am beyond excited to continue to work with our current owner Brian Raduenz. Brian has been a wonderful owner and he has made it very clear that he is here to support us in anything we need.”

Howard is currently in his seventh season at the helm of the Bruins during the 2023-24 season. He became the third head coach in Bruins history on May 1, 2017, after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL.

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During the 2022-23 season, Howard helped lead the Bruins to their first Central Division Title since 2015 and reached the Robertson Cup Final. In 2017-18, Howard was named the Central Division Coach of the Year by the NAHL, becoming the first head coach in Bruins history to achieve the honor.

From a player advancement level under Coach Howard, there have been over 60 players who have committed to the NCAA Division 1 level, multiple players currently playing at the professional hockey level in either the AHL or ECHL, and 2 former players who have been selected in the NHL Draft. Not only has there been player advancement, but also staff advancements. Currently, there are two former coaches at the NCAA Division 1 level, one is an NAHL head coach/general manager, an assistant coach in the USHL, an assistant coach in the ECHL, a head coach/general manager in the NCDC, a play-by-play announcer in the ECHL and one in the AHL.

“I also owe a huge thank you to all of our current and former players, coaching staff, front office staff, fans, sponsors, and especially my wife Kristin for their unwavering support over the years,” Howard said.

The Bruins host the Minot Minotauros this weekend at Riverside Arena with Saturday night being the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss and another Post Game Skate with the Bruins. Tickets for both games this weekend are on sale now at or at our local ticket retailers of Austin Hy-Vee, Games People Play, and Jim’s Marketplace.