Maple Grove alum Tom Starkey has been named coach of the school’s maligned boys’ hockey program.
He replaces Gary Stefano, whose contract was not renewed after a season in which 13 players were suspended for an off-ice incident.
Starkey played for Stefano at Maple Grove, graduated in 2000 and then played four years at Air Force. He graduated in 2004 as a financial officer with a rank of second lieutenant. He left the service in 2006 and currently works in the financial services industry.
Starkey, who took over coaching duties Wednesday, was an assistant coach for Wayzata High School’s varsity and junior varsity programs the past two seasons.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to take this position,” Starkey said Thursday. “Maple Grove is a great community. I know the system, the politics and the situation right now. I’m excited to get to work on the next chapter of Maple Grove hockey.”
Stefano, a 32-year coaching veteran, received a letter of nonrenewal for his coaching position on Feb. 19.
-- David La Vaque