May 13, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Bronco alumnus Chris Brooks has been named assistant hockey coach at Western Michigan University, head coach Jim Culhane announced today.
"Chris is an outstanding young man who is a perfect fit for our program," said Culhane. "Chris showed great commitment to the Broncos as a player and his enthusiasm for the coaching profession will be a benefit to our program."
Brooks, 26, lettered four seasons at Western Michigan (1993-96) and finished as the eighth-leading scorer in school history, compiling 57 goals and 127 assists for 184 points in 147 games. A playmaker with excellent ice vision, Brooks led the Broncos in assists four straight seasons and twice captured team scoring titles (1994-95, 1992-93). He was a member of two NCAA tournament teams at WMU (1995-96, 1993-94) and was recipient of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's Rookie of the Year Award in 1993. Brooks also received CCHA All-Academic honorable mention on two occasions.
"This is a great opportunity, something I have dreamt about and wanted to do since I first came to WMU," Brooks said of his appointment. "First and foremost, Jim is a great person and someone I can look to in my development as a coach."
The Stratford, Ont., native recently closed a three-year professional career which included stops in the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL), East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and the American Hockey League (AHL).
As a rookie for the Amarillo Rattlers of the WPHL in 1996-97, Brooks was named the league's Most Valuable Player after amassing 110 points (45 goals, 65 assists) in 64 games. The following season, he earned team MVP honors while skating for the ECHL's Mobile Mysticks, stockpiling 80 points (30-50) in 70 games. After a short stint with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL, Brooks returned to Amarillo for the 1998-99 season as a player/assistant coach and captured team MVP honors with 105 points (48-57) in 60 games. He also took part in his second WPHL All-Star Game.
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