On Tuesday, Mike Dietsch was named Faribault High School varsity girls hockey coach, pending school board approval.
The Faribault native’s coaching resume spans from four years as an assistant with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars), a head coach for 21 years with Shattuck-St. Mary’s’ U15 and U17 teams until 2013 and later at the U14 level in South Dakota.
His father, Warren, started the Faribault Hockey Association and Mike was a former FHA board member.
“That’s something I find extremely exciting for me and my family,” Dietsch said. “He brought hockey to Faribault in the ‘70s.”
That much time on the ice makes for a lot of stories.
Some came away from the rink.
“That was really a fun and exciting opportunity,” Dietsch said of his time as an assistant to the coaching staff of the North Stars. “I got to work with Bobby Clarke who was with the Philadelphia Flyers and the first general manager for Minnesota. He was one of the true hockey icons of mine growing up and here I am at Joe Senser’s bar watching playoff hockey with Bobby Clarke.”
Clarke is an NHL Hall of Fame inductee and won Stanley Cups with the Flyers in 1975 and 1976.
In his time with the North Stars Dietsch met former North Star JP Parise. He was influential on Parise’s decision to come to Shattuck-St. Mary’s after Parise’s playing and coaching career in the professional ranks.
Parise coached and was Director of Hockey at SSM. SSM’s new rink is named in his honor and his son, Zach, is an alternate captain with the Minnesota Wild who was coached by Dietsch as a youth.
Dietsch also coached former SSM Sabre and current Wild forward Jordan Greenway. He has alumni scattered across the NHL.
“I try to get up to see a lot of Wild games,” Dietsch said, “but my favorite team is whoever has the most Shattuck players.”
Dietsch got to play the role of fan for a handful of years, but he’s back in his natural habitat being a part of the game.
He admitted he’s relatively unfamiliar with FHS’ girls program, but will dive in in the coming months to mesh his expertise with a new group. He was encouraged by the talent coming back from a 19-7 season capped by a section finals appearance.
Dietsch’s daughter, Addison, a rising freshman at FHS, encouraged him to get back into coaching. She’ll be with him on the sidelines this winter. Son, Darby, will be a sophomore and is a member of the boys hockey program.
“She wanted me to go back to Shattuck, but that’s just too much time,” said Dietsch, who works full-time in the banking industry. “But this would fit a lot better. I get to continue to work with hockey, but the only way I’m going to do it is if she’ll be a student manager. So I talked to (FHS activities director Keith Badger) and she’s the first person I got to join my staff.”