RIVER FALLS, Wis. – One of the top forwards in North Iowa Bulls history will spend his next four years on the ice for one of the top coaches in all of NCAA Division III hockey. Second-year Bull Josh Arnold has announced his commitment to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and will join the Falcons program for the 2018-19 campaign.
Arnold has a shot to reach the 100-point mark for the Bulls this week, but is already over 160 points for his junior career thanks to a successful rookie season in the Western States Hockey League with the Casper Coyotes in 2015-16. With 98 regular-season points, the Roseville, Minnesota native currently sits in a ninth-place tie on the team’s all-time list.
His coach-to-be, Steve Freeman, has one of the most decorated resumes in Division III hockey over his 22 seasons with the Falcons. Freeman has won 374 games, including eight 20-win seasons and a trip to the Division III Frozen Four in 2001. This season, UW-River Falls has been navigating choppier skies, though, carrying just six wins into the upcoming weekend.
Both Arnold’s new coach and one of his assistant coaches have ties to the state of Iowa. Freeman spent two seasons as the head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints in the late 1980s – North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden also spent a short stint in Dubuque in the late ’90s. Assistant coach A.J. Bucchino also saw ice time in Iowa, as a goaltender for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the early 2000s.
It’ll be a short commute for Arnold, with just over a half-hour and a state line separating his hometown of Roseville from his next stop in River Falls. As of yet, he’ll be the first North Iowa Bull ever on the Falcons’ roster, but several NA3HL alumni currently call the UW-River Falls campus home. Nearly 60 North Iowa players have continued their hockey careers at the collegiate level.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Josh Arnold on his recent college commitment, and wish him the best for his college career to come at Wisconsin-River Falls.