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Exter accepts head coaching position in NAHL

Monday, May 13th
Exter accepts head coaching position in NAHL

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, announced former Associate Coach Joe Exter will be the new Head Coach and General Manager of the St. Cloud Norsemen in the NAHL. 


Exter was Iowa’s Associate Coach from 2022-24. Under his guidance alongside Head Coach Derek Damon, the Heartlanders increased their win total by five in the 2023-24 regular season and established a strong tradition of development, helping 25 players reach the AHL in his two seasons with the team.


This is Exter’s first career head coaching opportunity. 


“Joe was an integral part of the success of our team the last few seasons and we are thrilled for him to take the next step in his coaching career," said Head Coach and General Manager Derek Damon. "He is a huge reason we set a team record this season by advancing 15 players to the AHL, which was the most of any season in team history. Joe is a friend and is more than deserving of this opportunity with the Norsemen.” 


"Thank you to the Heartlanders players, staff and fans for the past two seasons," Exter said. "It was a great experience both as a member of the organization and living in Coralville. I look forward to following the Heartlanders as they continue to move into becoming a perennial contender. Under the leadership of my good friend Derek Damon and Team President Matt Getz, I have no doubt the Heartlanders will continue to move in a strong direction."


Exter, 45, began his coaching career as an assistant with AIC in 2005-06. In 2006-07, Exter started his junior coaching career with Cedar Rapids in the USHL. Following a four-year stint with the USA NTDP, Exter joined Ohio State as an assistant coach from 2011-17, then moved on to Michigan State as an assistant from 2017-22. 


The Cranston, RI native skated collegiately as a goaltender for Merrimack College from 2001-03 and captained Merrimack in 2002-03. He played two professional seasons with Wheeling from 2003-05.  


The Heartlanders have started the process to find a new assistant coach for the 2024-25 season.


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The 2024-25 ECHL schedule will be released this offseason. Stay tuned to Iowa Heartlanders social media (@goheartlanders) and the team’s website for the schedule release. Sign up here to be notified by text message when our Home Opener is announced for the 2024-25 season.