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Iowa Heartlanders Hockey Operations

Derek Damon

Derek Damon

Head Coach & General Manager

Hometown: Bangor, ME | Birth date: 11/12/80 | Experience: 3rd season as Heartlanders Head Coach, 4th season coaching with Heartlanders 

- Signed multi-year extension with the Heartlanders on May 10, 2024 after his second year as Heartlanders Head Coach. 

- Heartlanders had a 5-win improvement in the 2023-24 season and team established or tied records for longest winning streak, longest points streak, longest home winning streak and most consecutive home games with at least a point.  

- Named 2nd Head Coach in Heartlanders history on July 5, 2022, replacing Gerry Fleming. 

- Was Iowa Assistant Coach in the team's 2021-22 inaugural season (29-33-9-1 record, .472 pts.%). One of the masterminds of the Heartlanders' 4th ranked power play (23.9%) in team's first season. Club ranked 12th on the penalty kill (81.5%) after starting season in bottom half of the league PK. 

- Forward skated in 14 professional seasons and in 784 games. Coached by Gerry Fleming in ECHL Florida (2006-08). 

- Made 4 NCAA tournaments and 2 Frozen Fours at University of Maine. 2004 Hockey East Champion. 

- Made transition to coaching in 2020-21 as assistant with Salmon Arm (BCHL).

Kevin Schmidt

Assistant Coach

Hometown: Markham, ON | Birth date: 2/14/86 | Experience: 1st season as Heartlanders assistant coach 

- The Heartlanders named Kevin Schmidt assistant coach in June 2024, his first professional coaching opportunity. Schmidt had a successful 15-year playing career as a defenseman and retired from playing in spring 2024.

- Began his professional career with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers in 2009-10 and spent the next 14 seasons in Europe. Over 11 seasons in Germany, he helped his teams qualify for the league playoffs nine times. 

- Schmidt follows a similar path to Head Coach & General Manager Derek Damon, who also played parts of 15 professional seasons and spent most of his career in Europe. 

- A Bowling Green graduate (2005-09), Schmidt, 38, developed into a reliable point producer from the blueline over 14 years in Europe. He spent seven seasons playing in Germany’s top league, the DEL, and produced 113 points in 347 games. In 2021-22, Schmidt was named DEL2 Defenseman of the Year for EC Bad Nauheim.

Eric Michaud

Eric Michaud

Director, Hockey Operations & Video Coach

Eric Michaud is Iowa's Director of Hockey Operations and Video Coach, earning a promotion in the 2023 offseason after he joined Iowa as the team’s Coordinator of Video and Team Services in June 2022. Michaud is responsible for prioritizing and supporting all aspects of the team’s day-to-day hockey operations needs. He also live cuts and edits video for coaching review and team improvement. The Lewiston, ME native also worked for the Kansas City Mavericks in 2020-21 and the Maine Mariners in 2021-22. He was an assistant video coordinator for the University of Maine’s NCAA Division I men’s hockey program from 2015-17 and has served as an assistant coach at the junior level for the Maine Nordiques.

Iowa Heartlanders Front Office Staff

Matt Getz

Matt Getz


The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, named Matt Getz President of the Heartlanders in September 2023. Getz brings nearly two decades of sales, advertising and marketing experience to the team and joins the Heartlanders after spending the last five years with the Accel Group in eastern Iowa. Prior to his time with the Accel Group, Getz spent 11 years working for the University of Iowa Athletics Department in event and project management.

Getz most recently served as the Director of Business Intelligence with the Accel Group where he helped oversee the direction and daily operations for a number of departments within the company. During his time with Accel Group, he received numerous awards and recognitions for his work.

During Getz’ time at the University of Iowa, he was named the Hawkeyes’ Director of Event Management and successfully executed home events for all Iowa Division I Sports. Among successes with the Hawkeyes, Getz was responsible for bringing two Olympic Team Trial events in wrestling to Iowa City (2012 and 2016), which set all-time attendance records. He helped prepare and execute the 2015 Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championships at the University of Iowa. Additionally, in November 2015, Getz and his team at the athletic department brought the “Grapple on the Gridiron” to Kinnick Stadium, a wrestling event that marked the first time two college teams wrestled in a NCAA Division I football stadium.

Getz is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and earned his Master of Arts from the University of Iowa in 2010.


Phill Seebeck

Phill Seebeck

Director, Corporate Partnerships & Business Development

Phill oversees the team’s corporate sales outreach and develops strategies that help the Heartlanders continue the strong growth of their fanbase. He comes to the Heartlanders after he served as Business Sales Executive at ImOn Communications. During his time at ImOn, he was integral in growing the customer base and establishing community connections throughout the ICR Corridor.  Seebeck is originally from the Quad Cities, is a Cornell College graduate and has lived in Johnson County for a decade. Outside of his professional life, Seebeck is an avid holiday-lights enthusiast, a live-music fan, an aspiring chef, and displays some Big Dad Energy. Contact Phill at phill@iowaheartlanders.com.

Jacob Pellegrino

Jacob Pellegrino

Director, Ticket Sales & Service

Pellegrino, a Pleasant Hill, Iowa native, joins the Heartlanders from NASCAR, where he most recently was a Senior Account Executive, Premium & Consumer Sales. In the role, Pellegrino will serve as the strategic, revenue-driving and retention lead for Heartlanders ticketing initiatives.


Pellegrino brings major league experience to the team, serving as Business Development Account Executive for the Arizona Coyotes in 2019-20 and as a ticket sales representative for the Miami Heat in 2018-19. 


Jacob moved to Iowa City with his giant schnauzer Bodi, who is "just a little guy with a big heart."

Erin Pottebaum

Erin Pottebaum

Director, Business Operations

Erin plays a pivotal role in the development and expansion of relationships with corporate partners and organizations within the Corridor, with an emphasis on expanding the Heartlanders’ impact on the local community and eastern Iowa. She joined the Heartlanders after serving as the Director of Operations for the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) since 2016. While at ICAD, Pottebaum connected businesses with meaningful opportunities, resources, and support to help grow the economy in the greater Iowa City area. Outside of her professional pursuits, Erin and her family have embraced hockey, and evolving into avid Heartlanders fans. Contact Erin at erin@iowaheartlanders.com.


Molly Uphoff

Molly Uphoff

Director, Ticket Operations & Analytics

Molly Uphoff has been with the Heartlanders since April 2021 and was the second employee hired in team history! She has been a huge asset for the development of the Heartlanders in multiple ways, including the development of strategies aimed at increasing ticket revenue and corporate partnerships. The Illinois native has worked in the ECHL since 2018, previously working with the Florida Everblades as a Ticket Sales and Service Manager.

Autumn Bolton

Autumn Bolton

Director, Marketing & Game Presentation

Autumn joined the Heartlanders in May 2024 and is key in the management, development and implementation of marketing, communication, and fan experience strategy for the Heartlanders, as well as the execution of those plans to generate revenue and increase attendance. 


Bolton joined the Heartlanders from the Air Force Academy, where she served as Assistant Director of Marketing for Air Force Athletics since 2021. While at Air Force, Bolton oversaw all marketing initiatives for hockey and women’s basketball, as well as on-field promotions for Falcons football. 


Autumn moved to the Iowa City area with her adorable corgi Rex and "Krazy Kat" Rocky.

David Fine

David Fine

Director, Communications & Broadcasting

David is the team's Director of Communications and serves as the Heartlanders play-by-play broadcaster at mixlr.com/goheartlanders and FloHockey. He was named 2024 ECHL Broadcaster of the Year.


He has worked for the Heartlanders since May 2021, joining the team in the lead up to the inaugural season. Some of his favorite moments with the team include the first goal in team history and the Heartlanders first-ever sellout against Kansas City in Apr. 2024


The Syracuse University graduate has also called select AHL games during his time with the Heartlanders.

Fine is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and often starts his game day by listening to The Boss while distributing game notes.

Sophie Williams

Sophie Williams

Director, Digital Marketing & Content Creation

Sophie joined the Heartlanders in spring 2024 as the team’s Director of Digital Media and Content Creation. She is essential in the creation of graphics and video content to expand the Heartlanders brand and enhance the entertainment value at Heartlanders’ home games. Williams spent the 2023-24 season as Director of Marketing and Social Media for the SPHL’s Fayetteville Marksmen. 


She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2023 and spent the first two years of her collegiate career at the University of Iowa. While at the University of Michigan, Williams was a member of the Wolverines’ Women’s Hockey team. She served as the team’s social media coordinator and graphic designer for two seasons.


Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Williams and her black lab Sully are excited to be the newest members of the Heartlanders family. 

Tony Coyle

Merchandise Manager

A Cascade, Iowa native, Tony joined the Heartlanders as Merchandise Manager in July 2024. Prior to becoming a Heartlander, Tony worked as a beer sales lead at Molson Coors Beverage Company. 

Tony will be responsible for the management of the Heartlanders Team Store (formerly “The Silo”), maintain the Heartlanders’ Online Team Store and collaborate with the team’s marketing department and equipment manager to create unique merchandise opportunities for Heartlanders fans.

The front office is especially excited to have Tony, his family, and his golden retriever, Mickey, join the Heartlanders family !

Jeff Shedosky

Jeff Shedosky

Account Executive

Jeff joined the Heartlanders as an account executive in February 2023 and is an integral member to the Heartlanders sales staff. Originally from Wisconsin, Jeff spent years as a member of the Marine Corps. After his enlistment, Jeff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. 

Avery Martensen

Account Executive

Avery joins the Heartlanders after spending the last two years working in ticket operations for the University of Iowa’s Athletics Department. He is a 2023 graduate of the Sports & Recreation Management program at Iowa and is a Monticello, IA native.

Drake Powell

Account Executive

Drake is a proud Hawkeye graduate of the Sports & Recreation Management program at the University of Iowa. The Williamsburg, IA native has worked in a handful of sales roles before joining the Heartlanders, including at Rally House in Coralville. 

Savanna Argenti

Account Executive

Savanna is a Troy University graduate and brings experience working in college athletics and minor league sports to the team. She worked at Troy’s athletic department in marketing and communications before graduating in 2023, then joined the Columbus River Dragons (FPHL) minor league hockey team as their marketing manager. 

Aaron Gold

Account Executive

Aaron arrives in Iowa for his first opportunity working in professional sports. He started his collegiate time as a tennis player at Johnson & Wales University and graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 2023. After graduating, he served as a sales associate at The Edge Fitness Clubs in the Philadelphia suburbs for the last year.

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