By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE - The Florida Institute of Technology recently announced Fern Kidder as the new head coach of the school's ice hockey team, a club sport.
"I'd love to see the guys do well, on and off the ice," Coach Kidder said. "I'm looking forward to doing something new, and I would like to thank my family for helping me get to where I am today."
Coach Kidder, who has been playing the game since age 3, replaces former Coach Bret Thompson, who coached the team for two years.
Coach Kidder played four years of Division I American College Hockey Association hockey at Western Michigan University. He moved to Orlando in 2005 and began to teach high school honors world history and is currently director of in-school structures and varsity girl's lacrosse head coach at Timber Creek High School in Orlando.
Keith Hudon, undergraduate admission counselor at Florida Tech, said he thinks having Coach Kidder as the new coach will draw attention to the university from students who may not have considered going there before.
"I am happy and excited for (Fern) Kidder as the new coach," he said. "I feel that this change and new direction is exactly what the club team needs to rebuild a good hockey foundation. I believe that Kidder will be able to attract future players to the university and the club ice hockey program, who might of not thought about Florida Tech."
Mr. Hudon said all clubs are 100 percent student operated and managed, and every club and organization at Florida Tech requires a facility or staff advisor for university oversight.
For a club or organization to come into existence at Florida Tech, Mr. Hudon said ten full-time students and a facility/ staff advisor must be a part of it.
Mr. Kidder was one of the six applicants who applied for the coaching vacancy that was posted on the American Collegiate Association website.
The team's first game will be at the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10:30 p.m. against the University of Tampa. Admission is $5 to the general public and free for students.