Growing up in Metro Detroit, Joel played for a variety of hockey programs; leading up to AAA midget minor and two seasons of Jr. Hockey in what would become the North American Hockey League. Joel’s most memorable playing memories were being selected to the National Midget Festival in 1983 of which he was Captain of Team Michigan and a Jr. Hockey National Championship in 1984.
As an 18 year old Joel was given preferred walk-on status at Ferris State University, just missing a varsity squad position as a true college freshman. Joel then hung up the skates and began his life as a student and dormitory resident advisor at FSU. Upon graduating in 1989 with a degree in Sales and Marketing, Joel went to work in the corporate world as a sales representative and has enjoyed a fun and fortunate career.
Joel has been married 25 years to his wife, Kate and they have three sons of their own, Michael (20) who is a proud Grandville Bulldog graduate, Thomas (18), and David (15).
Joel has coached for 25 seasons at nearly every level of amateur hockey. His most fond moments would include: fostering cross ice hockey in Grand Rapids nearly a decade ago and being at the forefront of teaching small area games to all ages; coaching East Grand Rapids HS to the final 4 in 2001; and being awarded “Hockey Person of the Year” by Michigan Hockey Magazine in 2009, an honor shared with Mike Slobodnik. As Hockey Director of Georgetown Ice Arena from March of 2007 to April of 2010, Joel helped foster the struggling association into the fastest growing, and one of the most successful programs in West Michigan. During his time at Georgetown Arena, Joel was able to coach Championships at both the Mite and the Midget A level, verifying that all teams, regardless of age, function best on positive energy, commitment to simple concepts, clear objectives, and a style of play that encourages creativity played at a high tempo.
Joel is a USA Hockey Masters Level Coach and a 15 year staff member of Michigan’s USA Hockey Coaching Education Staff.