The Owatonna Youth Hockey Association announced on their Facebook page that Pat Cullen will become the organization's executive director. Cullen is no stranger to Owatonna, having coached the Southern Minnesota Express hockey team in its inception more than a decade ago.

The posting indicates, "Cullen's primary role will be to grow the hockey program, while focusing on creating an elite hockey association." Cullen has a long history of coaching and working in other hockey-related positions.

Cullen is a Bemidji State graduate with a B.S. in Education. He's coached at Hamline University and St. Olaf College, in addition to his time with the Express, who he led to great success early in their existence. Cullen most recently served as the Director of Player Development for Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault.

The Facebook posting says, "Cullen is highly committed and dedicated to working with the board, parents, high school, and athletes, in creating a comprehensive and smoothly run program for our Owatonna youth."

In other recent Owatonna hockey news, the arenas at the Four Seasons Centre will be named in honor of the pioneers of hockey in town. Owatonna High School announced in May the hiring of a former Olympic hockey coach to lead the girls' varsity program.