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Muskegon Lumberjacks sold to former player, name new head coach

The team and league revealed Friday the sale of the Lumberjacks to Peter Herms, who played for Muskegon in 1985-86 when it was a part of the International Hockey League.

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Contributed / Muskegon Lumberjacks

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lumberjacks are changing owners and officially announced their head coaching change.

The team and league revealed Friday, Dec. 9, the sale of the Lumberjacks to Peter Herms, a former player for Muskegon in 1985-86 when it played in the International Hockey League. Herms, who played collegiately at New Hampshire, purchased the team from BC Hockey LLC — owned by Dan Israel, Bob Kaiser and Andy Appleby.

“My desire to become a member of the USHL is driven by my passion for the game,” Herms said. “The USHL provides the ideal platform for hockey players to pursue their dreams.”

For the past 30 years, Herms has run Gray Supply Corporation, a family-owned utility contractor in New Jersey. During this time, he has stayed involved as a youth and high school hockey coach. Last year, he purchased the Red Bank Armory Ice Complex and Red Bank Generals hockey program in New Jersey.

"The USHL believes the Muskegon Lumberjacks are in excellent hands with new principal owner Mr. Peter Herms coming on board," USHL president and commissioner Bill Robertson said.

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Muskegon joined the USHL in 2010 and have made the Clark Cup finals once, in 2018. The team has a 374-288-69 record in the USHL.

Behind the bench

As The Rink Live previously reported , the team made it official that it has parted ways with head coach Mike Hamilton, the winningest coach in franchise history. Associate head coach Parker Burgess has been promoted to head coach.

"After five years with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, I have decided to step down and pursue other opportunities," said Hamilton, who was the USHL coach of the year in 2020-21. "I'm grateful for Dan Israel and Bob Kaiser 's support through the years. I will forever cherish the teams and players that I have coached and look forward to enjoying some time with family."

Burgess, who is in his first year with the Lumberjacks, takes over after previously serving as the head coach of the Janesville Jets of the NAHL the past two seasons.

Burgess earned the Midwest Division Coach of the Year Award in 2021, leading the Jets to a 31-13-4 record and the Midwest Division title.

A former player at St. Thomas, Burgess was an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the then-Division III Tommies. He later became the head coach at Nichols College for five seasons, posting a 74-48-13 record and a Commonwealth Coast Conference championship during the 2017-18 season.

The Lumberjacks (10-9-1) host the Team USA U17s Friday night at Trinity Health Arena in Muskegon.

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Rob Beer is the digital content manager for Forum Communications. A journalist with Forum Communications since 1991, he is the editor of The Rink Live and assists with Northland Outdoors and other content produced by the company.
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