It was announced today that Paul Lowden (Davenport University) would once again serve as the Head Coach for the 2009-2010 ACHA Division 2 Select Team. "I am honored and very grateful to have the opportunity to once again coach the ACHA Select Team. It was an unbelievable experience for all the players, administration and coaching staff who were part of the inaugural Select Team and I expect it to be a very rewarding experience for everyone involved with the 2009-2010 Select Team. Everyone will enjoy the competition, the social interaction and the cultural education they will experience from each country we visit," said Lowden. The 2007-2008 season was a singular year for Coach Lowden who led the first ever ACHA D2 Select Team to a perfect 5-0 record against teams from Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic. Lowden said, "The 2007-2008 year was a dream season. It was a great honor and a task I took very seriously when I was selected as the Head Coach of the inaugural Select Team. It was a wonderful rewarding experience. I enjoyed coaching but more importantly getting to know each and every one of the players personally. The guys played hard and represented the ACHA and their institutions very well." Coach Lowden's success extended to his own team as he guided his Davenport University Panthers to their first ACHA Division 2 National Championship.
"Winning the national championship was the ultimate experience as far as emotions go. I have a high level of respect for all of my players and coaching staff for the commitment, dedication, hard work and discipline they showed at the National Tournament. We peaked at the right time." In addition to these top honors for his teams, Lowden was individually recognized as the ACHA Division 2 Coach of the Year. Lowden's own words best sum up the pinnacle to an extraordinary year, "Being selected as Coach of the Year was icing on the "cake" which I share with my assistant coaches Phil Sweeney, Jamie Bradford, and Joe Messina as well as all the players on our team. Hockey is a team sport and no individual awards are won without the efforts of the whole team."
To the questions regarding what his biggest challenge was for the first Select Team and what he expects the biggest challenge will be this time, the answers were the same. "The major challenge was bringing together 26 players from 23 different ACHA Teams and figuring out how the coaching staff would be able to challenge all the players to buy into the systems put in place and develop the chemistry needed to be successful in a short period of time. We were fortunate to have quality individuals who bought into the program, left their egos at the door and were fully committed to the success of the team. I expect similar challenges for the 2009-2010 Select Team. I, along with my coaching staff, will help with this transition as soon as the team is selected. We are more familiar with what to expect and we will have a lot more time to prepare for any unforeseen challenges that may arise.
Lowden had this to say regarding the selection of the 2009-2010 team, "We expect to receive almost double the applications. The coaching staff and administration will spend endless hours reviewing applications and talking with coaches from member teams to make sure we select the right talent players with the right attitudes. The ACHA All Star Challenge (April 3-5, 2009) will be a great opportunity for us to get one last look at many of the applicants. I plan on scouting all the games and evaluating the talent of those players attending who completed an application for the 2009-2010 Select Team.
A native of Scarborough, Ontario Canada, Lowden played youth hockey through Juniors in Toronto. Recruited by Ferris State University, he played NCAA Division I hockey for four years. He was selected to the Ferris State University Hall of Fame in 2003 and currently holds the record for total points and goals scored in a career at Ferris State. Following graduation in 1987, Lowden played professional hockey in Germany for six years. Lowden's coaching career started with youth and high school hockey. He accepted a position as Athletic Director for Davenport University where he was given the challenging task of building an athletic program. Davenport's ACHA D2 hockey program was the first athletic program in 2002-2003. Davenport University's athletic program has grown rapidly under Lowden's leadership. They currently sponsor 19 programs and look to add 4 more in 2009-2010.
Paul Lowden currently lives in Ada, Michigan just outside of Grand Rapids. He has been married for 20 years to his wife Lisa and has three children, daughters Kristyn 17, Kaitlyn 15, and son, Kyler 6.