Coaching Staff

sanden_head_shot_2013-14TODD SANDEN – Head Coach / General Manager

Cell Phone: (763) 258-9349

Todd Sanden, Head Coach and General Manager of the North Iowa Bulls is excited to return for his ninth season behind the bench for the Bulls.  Reclaiming the NA3HL’s Fraser Cup is a season goal and would be a great accomplishment for our team this season.  The North Iowa Bulls have played in 4 of the last 6 NA3HL Silver Cup Finals Championship games, raising the Cup in 2013, 2014, and 2016.  Playing in three straight USA Hockey National Championship games 2013, 2014, 2015 and capturing two USA Hockey National Championship titles in those games is also a great source of pride for our team and community.  Our team accomplishments are a testament to the caliber of player we have attracted to the North Iowa Bulls.  Those were also community achievements and the Bulls are very fortunate to be part of such a supporting environment.  

Entering the eighth season with the Bulls coach Sanden has amassed over 1000 games as a coach at the junior level and well over 1300 in his career as a hockey coach.  This is a season that we can expect to be very competitive with the top teams in the NA3HL. We have a very young but promising group of players that understand the tradition laid before them.  With only 5 returning players, our rookies will have plenty of opportunity to provide production to help drive the success of this year’s team. The expectation for our returning players is to set an outstanding example of compete, drive and determination, which will lead our group to success.

Coach Sanden has spent time as an assistant with the Coulee Region Chill and the North Iowa Outlaws of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  Sanden also has been a head coach in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  Coach Sanden is a tireless recruiter who strives to attain the finest talent available to him.  The most treasured accomplishments of coach Sanden’s career are the players who have advanced their careers as a result of playing under him.  Sanden’s six USA Hockey National Championship titles and seven USA Hockey Sportsmanship Awards show a commitment to excellence and sportsmanship in his programs.  Coach Sanden also has international coaching experience, participating in exhibition games in Austria, Finland, Germany, and Switzerland.

Todd Sanden,  a resident of Anoka, MN,  is married to wife Teresa with two adult children, Nick and Emily.



JON SKARLIS – Assistant Coach

Cell Phone: 319-215-7043

Jon joins the team for his first season with the North Iowa Bulls after a productive playing career at the NCAA Division III level. Skarlis played his final three years as a forward at Bethel University in Minnesota, following a season at Worcester State University in Massachusetts.

Jon’s junior hockey background is one that includes experience in the NA3HL, starting the 2013-14 season with the Alexandria Blizzard before playing most of the year with the Wisconsin Whalers. As a high school athlete, he spent a few games playing in the “Barn” as a member of the Midwest High School Hockey League’s Waterloo Warriors. Skarlis was a two-time MHSHL All-Star, and a member of the Warriors’ championship team in 2012.

His family maintains a residence in Clear Lake.


hicks_2MARK HICKS – Assistant Coach

Cell Phone:

Mark begins his 8th year with the Bulls and has over 25 years of coaching experience. He has been a resident of Mason City for over 22 years, moving to town to be an assistant coach with the North Iowa Huskies of the USHL in 1995. Mark has coached all levels of hockey in Mason City, including 13 years as the Head Coach of the Mason City Mohawks High School Hockey Team where he was named coach of the year 3 times.

Previously to that, he spent two years coaching with his Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he also lettered four years, was a two time All-American and finished his playing career ranked 2nd all time in points in school and NCHA history. He was inducted into the UWEC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. Mark also spent a season in the ECHL with the Toledo Storm and Richmond Renegades.

He and his wife of 21 years, Cassie, have 3 adult children and 9 grand children.

Coach Hicks on-ice passion is working with the power play and developing the offense. In this area the team has ranked near or at the top of the league every season in the NA3HL. He also enjoys looking at game film, breaking it down and implementing game plans for each team the Bulls play.

In adittion to his passion for hockey, his true passion is to see the young men who come to North Iowa excel off the ice as well as on and to assist them in achieving the next level in their hockey career and life. “Junior hockey is one of the greatest times in a players life but it can also be a grind. I want to be an open ear and an open door for each young man who comes to Mason City and help them maximize their experience. I believe a lot of our success as a team has been the open door policy Coach Sanden has with his players and I am blessed to be a part of it.”