Carolina Hockey Alum Kohl Schultz
So for those of you who don't know me, my name is Kohl Schultz, current Video Analyst for the Stockton Heat in the American League, and I got here by way of Carolina Hockey.
I graduated from UNC in 2014 with a degree in Political Science with a minor in visiting Sutton's Drug Store for breakfast every Tuesday and Thursday morning. My playing career at Carolina was less than stellar. I had horrible feet, so my job was to kill penalties, and not get scored on 5 on 5. But hey, hockey is like a play, some people sing, some people dance, and some people stay after the show to pick up the shit afterwards, so I knew my role.
Halfway through my junior year, I got a concussion. It sucked. I was light sensitive, I couldn't play for a bit, I got dizzy trying to put my head in a book, so needless to say, playing hockey wasn't in the cards for a bit. Eventually, I got to a point where skating was fun, it didn't make me dizzy, the sound of pucks off the glass didn't make my ears ring, but I still wasn't game ready. It was then I reached out to Steve Henley at Raleigh Youth Hockey asking if some team needed a coach, or glorified bench cheerleader, or someone to fill up water bottles. He put me in touch with a Bantam A coach who took me on as an assistant. I was hooked, and fell in love with the game all over again. The following year, I balanced playing while taking on a head coaching role of a U16 team and from there I knew coaching hockey was going to be the dream I chase.
Following college I was fortunate enough to land a spot on the Bemidji State coaching staff. A small division 1 program nestled in the north woods of Minnesota, and I'm pretty sure the coldest place on planet earth. It was here where my knowledge for the game continued to grow, and thankfully Coach Serratore, Winter, and Belisle showed me the ropes of how a D1 program operated. Also big shout out to our Athletic Trainer Bill Crews, Equipment Manager Toby Palmiscno, and Strength Coach Gary Boros for making sure my head stayed above water.
The next year, I saw myself dawning similar colors as I was hired at the University of Maine to do their Video Stats and Analytics. Coach Red was the first true video guy in the NHL, and a guru of the game, and getting to learn from him, along with our Associate coaches Jay Leach and Ben Guite was an absolute privilege. It was here where I saw my game creativity begin to grow. Independent thought began to take over, and after my second year in Maine, I decided to take a leap of faith to get into the pro ranks in just some capacity. Once again, support staff people are what truly make a program go, so Shanny, Murray, Cheech, PC and Ritz, thanks for all the time you invested in me and those boys.
So now I find myself in Stockton, California; a place I don't need a winter coat. It has been an unreal journey so far, experiencing so many different areas of the country doing what I love most, surrounding myself with hockey. In Stockton, I am charged with pre-scouting opponents, assisting our staff in creating teaching videos/ meetings, in game breakdown of game film and then statistics and analytics. Needless to say, its hockey intensive.
My goal at the end of the day is to be behind a bench at the highest level. So far I have been blessed enough to be surrounded by people that have truly cared enough to see me succeed moving forward with my career aspirations. The best part about this journey though, has been the friendships I've made and continue because of Carolina Hockey. I keep in touch with a bunch of the guys, and heck, I got to catch a Red Sox game not more than two weeks ago with ACCHL Hall of Famer Mike Auriemma, and Carolina's favorite female hockey player Sarah Valarelli or however you spell it. This summer I had the privilege of catching up with John Jackson in Tampa of all places. And it seems like no matter where I end up, there's always a couch of alum for me to crash on. It's a great bond, and a big part of why I look back on Carolina, and the hockey program with such memories. Enjoy the ride as a part of the Heels on Steel, it goes quick.