The 2016-17 season will mark Garrett Gruenke’s third year with the UST hockey coaching staff. He works with the defenseman and does video analysis.
The Plymouth, Minn., native played high school hockey for the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights and won two state championships in 1999 and 2001.
Gruenke played two years of Junior hockey in the NAHL with the Bozeman Icedogs. He went on to a four year hockey career for UST (2004-08) where he was a captain his senior year, and part of the 2005 National Runner up team. He was an All-MIAC honorable mention his junior and senior years. After attending the University of St Thomas, he went on to play six years professionally in the CHL, for Odessa, Rapid City, and Wichita. For two years, Garrett was a Professional Hockey Players Association union representative and he retired in 2014.
Gruenke is currently working for a hockey training company called the Minnesota Advancement Program (MAP) based out of Mendota Heights and Blaine. He is the Director of youth development and trains hockey players ages twelve and up.
"St. Thomas and the sport of hockey has provided me with so many great memories and relationships, now I hope to pass along the knowledge I've learned through my new roles in coaching."