After Rhinos head coach Cory Herman decided to retire to the front office, the El Paso Rhinos needed to find his replacement and they have found him. The Rhinos have announced that NA3HL alum Nick Mammel has been named the head coach of the Rhinos’ NA3HL team.
Mammel grew up playing hockey in Michigan until he moved to Tennessee to play for the NA3HL’s Nashville Jr. Predators. In his only season in Nashville, his team set league records for consecutive wins and number of wins in a year.
Following his junior career, he returned to his hometown of Midland, MI where he served as the Assistant Coach at his alma mater, Midland High School. In his four seasons there, he coached the defense and aided in setting up special teams systems.
Now, Mammel is excited to take his first head coaching position in the same league he once played. He plans to use his recent experience as a player to produce a successful team. “Being 27 and closer in age to the players than many of my coaching counterparts is definitely an advantage,” he explains. “I was playing in this same league just seven years ago. My ability to relate to the players helps me get the most out of them.”
Rhino General Manager Corey Heon agrees that Mammel’s youth and vigor are advantageous for the franchise. “We felt Nick was a great fit for our organization. We were looking for someone younger with great drive and new ideas,” he said. “His high energy and experience in the NA3HL will help us develop players and give them the best opportunity to move up to our NAHL team.”
Succeeding owner Cory Herman as the Rhinos’ NA3HL coach, Mammel is aware of the winning tradition that El Paso has developed since 2006. “The legacy that Cory has built here is unmatched. My plan is to move forward with that Rhino legacy and keep the logic that no team will out-work or out-skate us. The goal is to compete for a division championship and keep players moving up to higher levels of junior hockey.”
Although he recognizes that the NA3HL’s South Division has, arguably, the toughest competition in the league, the Rhinos’ newest coach is not afraid of the challenge. Mammel knows that the community’s support helps players compete at their highest level. His first time in El Paso, his Uber driver was wearing a Rhino shirt. “Rhino fans bring energy to the rink every night. I’m excited for the players and their families to experience that. I can’t wait for my own family to enjoy the experience when they get here as well. With the fans back in the building, I know El Paso will be the loudest and most intimidating place to play in the entire NA3.”