MASON CITY, Iowa – The North Iowa Bulls have announced that Head Coach and General Manager Todd Sanden has signed a new two-year contract with the organization as the Bulls make their move from the NA3HL to the North American Hockey League (NAHL).
“I am thrilled and honored to sign a two-year contract with F&S Management to hold the positions of head coach and general manager of the North Iowa Bulls NAHL franchise,” said Sanden, who has coached the NA3HL Bulls for the last 10 seasons. “F&S has provided the structure, funding, and leadership that successful teams need to thrive. I am very excited and looking forward to continuing my career in Mason City and appreciate the many blessings this area has brought me in my 10 years with the NA3HL team. I would like to thank Alberto Fernandez, Tyler Shaffar, and the many F&S staff members who work diligently to provide an outstanding junior hockey experience in Mason City.
“I would also like to thank the North Iowa community for embracing our teams through partnerships with Mason City Youth Hockey, the City of Mason City and their staff that operate a world class junior hockey facility, and our corporate partners and sponsors who commit to supporting our team/s for another decade of junior hockey. The community support that this area provides through our billet families, fans, and volunteers makes Mason City a destination if you’re a junior hockey player. Last, thank you to my wife, Teresa, and my family who have supported me on this dream of being a hockey coach. I wouldn’t be here without the support and hard work of many others and I thank you all.”
Tyler Shaffar, Vice President of the Bulls ownership group, says that F&S Management is thrilled to retain Sanden: “Todd is not only a tremendous hockey coach, but he is a leader and role model for our young players, as well as the North Iowa community. We can’t wait to see him take his immense talents to the NAHL with our franchise.”
Sanden remains the franchise’s only head coach since its founding in 2011, and he racked up a dominant resume with the Bulls over a decade in the NA3HL, including more than 400 regular-season and postseason wins, eight division championships, four NA3HL titles and four national championships. He will begin his 11th season behind the bench for the Bulls as the team kicks off its inaugural NAHL season this fall. Sanden won two Coach of the Year awards and four General Manager of the Year awards at the NA3HL level before moving up to the NAHL along with the Bulls for the upcoming season.
As North Iowa gets ready to drop the puck on the 2021-22 season, the Bulls will also look to pack the house again at the Mason City Multipurpose Arena. North Iowa drew nearly 800 fans per night during the COVID-restricted 2020-21 campaign, capping their first decade on the ice with their ninth league attendance title. The completion of the arena in December of 2019 became the first major milestone in downtown Mason City’s ongoing “River City Renaissance” project.
The announcement of Sanden’s contract follows the recent hiring of Kevin Murdock, who is set to return to Mason City and serve as the Bulls’ associate head coach and general manager during the 2021-22 season. Murdock previously served under Sanden from 2016 to 2019, and recently finished a successful two-year stint as the head coach of the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears.
2021-22 season tickets are on sale now for the Bulls’ first season as members of the North American Hockey League. For more information, or to purchase season tickets, call 641-423-4625 or visit www.northiowabulls.com.