After nearly two decades of success, Wisconsin’s ice skating team is now in the middle of a rebuild.
As the school has seen its attendance drop by more than half in the last decade, the women’s team has been forced to move to a new practice facility, as well as the home of the team’s general manager, Steve Loeffler.
“It’s a very, very difficult situation,” UW Ice Skating Coach Rob Lehner said.
“The kids in Wisconsin are going to want to see that they are treated with respect.”
Lehner was the head coach of the Wisconsin women’s national ice hockey squad from 1999 to 2003.
He said that while the women have made great strides, the team is no longer the same team that won five national championships during the 20-year span of the program.
“We’ve lost a few guys,” he said.
He added that the team has also seen some injuries.
“We’ve seen a couple of players get hurt,” Lehner explained.
“They’ve been really unlucky.”
Lehrts goal was to get the team back on track, but said that he has to start thinking about what will happen when the girls are ready for their first NCAA tournament game, scheduled for March 4 in Columbus, Ohio.
“I’m not going to be around to watch the team get to Columbus,” he admitted.
“I’m going to have to watch them, see what the coaches do.
They have a big role to play.
I’m going see what they do.”
Lehrer said that the current roster of players will likely feature a mix of high school and college players, which has led to a somewhat chaotic schedule.
“You get to a certain age, and then you go through your development, and you go into the pro leagues,” he explained.
He continued to stress the importance of staying healthy.
“You have to keep yourself healthy, and if you’re not, it’s not going your way.
If you don’t have a strong physical foundation, you can be hurt.”
UW Ice Hockey’s head coach said that after more than a decade of success with the team, they were not ready to be done with it yet.
“Wisconsin has been a major part of my career,” Lehner said.
Lehner also said that they were “very fortunate” to have the opportunity to coach the women in the men’s league in the past.
“It’s great to be able to do that,” he continued.
“But I think it’s time to start focusing on what the girls can do for us.”
Lehaners time with the men has also been difficult.
“There are a lot of coaches who want to be coaches for the men and women, but it’s been hard,” he acknowledged.
“Because it’s a lot more time spent with the boys.
There’s a certain pressure to coach, and that’s not the case for the girls.”
Lehmers experience with the women was even more difficult.
Lehns playing career ended in 2003, and he spent six years with the New York Islanders.
He went on to coach for the Columbus Storm of the AHL.
He then became the head man at the Wisconsin Ice Skaters, the school’s men’s ice team, from 2003 to 2006.
“After a couple years, I realized it wasn’t the right thing to do, and it wasn, and I’ve tried to get it out of my system,” he told ABC News.
“When I was hired, I thought it was going to work out fine.
I think I was wrong.
Now I’m getting back to square one.”
He said the program had been “very successful” before his departure, and was able to move forward with the new coaching staff.
Lehmens departure has been met with backlash from Wisconsin fans, and some students have gone on a Twitter rant against the school, while others have expressed anger at the university and its officials.
Lehners experience in the women`s ice hockey program has also sparked debate about the university`s involvement in women` s hockey, as some have called for the school to pull funding from the team.
“There’s a great deal of concern with the state of Wisconsin, and the hockey program,” Lehmans brother, Dan, said.
The Lehmans family also owns a local ice rink, and said that having a coach who was from Wisconsin and played for the UW women`S team has helped them get better.
“The coaches that we have, they’re great,” Lehrmans sister, Karen, said of her brothers success in coaching the women.
“All the time, we talk about, `Coach Lehmann, you’re Wisconsin.’
It`s just a nice thing.”
For his part, Lehmeier said that Wisconsin was the first team he was aware of that wanted to relocate to Columbus.
“A lot of people said, `No, you shouldn`t move