Thunder Name Rob Weingartner Team’s First Head Coach

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Wichita Junior Thunder name Rob Weingartner team’s first head coach June 1, 2012 8:44 AM

The Wichita Thunder aren’t wasting time getting the new junior hockey team organized. The Thunder have named former Central Hockey League Player Rob Weingartner as the team’s first head coach.

The Junior Thunder will participate in the Western States Hockey League. The WSHL is sanctioned by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). AAU is not the traditional governing body most players and parent are familiar with. USA Hockey is the recognized governing body for ice hockey while AAU is attempting to carve out its niche in non traditional hockey markets.

In Weingartner, the Junior Thunder get a coach who is a hockey veteran. He has played and coached for the Wichita Thunder and was part of both of its CHL championship teams in 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.

Weingartner spent two seasons as a Thunder assistant coach in the CHL and became head coach 19 games into the 2007-2008 season. He is one of five former Thunder players to have their number retired.

As a player Weingartner was known as one tough customer. In roughly 400 professional games Weingartner amassed approximately 600 penalty minutes. Weingartner understands fighting the odd, and should provide a great example for Thunder players, an undrafted player himself, he knows what it takes to earn your opportunity to play.

The CHL, Wichita Thunder retired jersey #15 to honor Weingartner not so long ago. A member of the original Thunder squad in 1992-93, as well as a captain on both the 1994 and 1995 Thunder championship teams, Weingartner played in 149 games for Wichita over the course of four seasons, scoring 47 goals and 85 total points in his Thunder career.

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