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Thursday

April 2014

24

Arrowhead boys hockey

Valimont will resign as Arrowhead head coach

Leader of hockey team won state title last season

The end of one of the most successful coaching eras in Arrowhead history has arrived as AHS varsity boys hockey coach Carl Valimont is retiring.

Valimont is expected to turn in his resignation to the school this week. His last game as coach came Tuesday when the Warhawks fell to University School of Milwaukee in the WIAA sectional semifinal.

"I've had a lot of fun coaching at Arrowhead, and it's something I've done for 11 years," Valimont said. "I wouldn't have done it that long had it not been worth it. There's been trials and tribulations, some ups and downs. But when you consider all the good times, it's been a great experience."

Valimont, who played professionally for the Milwaukee Admirals, came to Arrowhead when Don Mullett sought out a coach for the Arrowhead program. His first year was 1999-2000 when the Warhawks had a 13-9 record. In his 11 years as the AHS coach, Valimont led his teams to a 178-68-9 record, a winning mark of 70 percent.

He's had just one losing season, when the Warhawks went 9-10-2 in 2000-01.

The highlight of his career came last March when the Warhawks won three games at the state tournament at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, winning the state championship with a 5-1 victory over Fond du Lac in the title game. In those three games, the Warhawks outscored its opponents by a lopsided 15-3 margin. Arrowhead also finished second in 2005 in the only other state-tourney appearance in school history.

"I take a lot of pride in what the coaching staff has accomplished here," Valimont said. "We not only made all the kids better hockey players, but we also tried to make them better people. We've taught them lessons about life. It's very rewarding when our former players come back and say thanks, not for making them better hockey players, but teaching them some of life's lessons. That's special when that happens."

Valimont, 43, is the fourth coach in school history. Tim Tyre coached the first five years and was followed by Paul Caufield (2 seasons) and Neil Britt (1 season). The AHS program began in the 1991-92 season.

"I want to say thanks to all of my assistant coaches over the years," Valimont said. "We coached as a group. I was just the guy out front. Guys like Brian Mullett and Jeff Rochon did tons for me. Those guys deserve a pat on the back."

Arrowhead assistant coach Mike Watt is believed to be a leading candidate to assume the head coaching position. This is Watt's first year with the program.

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