Former Lakeville player becomes South boys hockey coach

Josh Storm

Josh Storm has run Owatonna program the last 10 years

A coach with roots in the Lakeville hockey community is returning to become boys varsity coach at Lakeville South.

Josh Storm, head boys hockey coach at Owatonna High School for the last 10 years, was named to the same position at Lakeville South on Thursday. Storm, 39, is a 2000 graduate of Lakeville High School, where he played varsity hockey. He also played hockey and baseball at Bethel University.

He replaces Janne Kivihalme, who resigned in April after leading Lakeville South to the state Class AA tournament in each of his three seasons as coach. Lakeville South was 20-1-2 in 2021; the only loss was 2-1 in double overtime to Eden Prairie in the state championship game.

Owatonna had winning records in nine of Storm’s 10 seasons as head coach. The Huskies were 13-5-1 in 2021 and reached the Section 1AA semifinals before losing 2-0 to Lakeville North in a game where North scored both goals in the final three minutes.

Storm is a physical education teacher at Owatonna Middle School. Before being hired there in 2011, he was a varsity assistant and head junior varsity boys hockey coach at Rosemount High School. He also was hitting coach for the 2009 Eagan High School team that reached the state baseball tournament and has been head coach of the Lakeville North American Legion baseball team.

Storm has coached some of Lakeville South’s returning players in Minnesota Hockey programs. He is District 9 head coach for Minnesota Hockey, a position where he is involved in coach development and training.

He takes over a Lakeville South program that has seen controversy since the end of the high school season in April. Kivihalme resigned less than two weeks after the state tournament and has not said publicly why he stepped down. A Lakeville South hockey parent appeared before the Lakeville Area School Board to ask that the district investigate what caused Kivihalme’s resignation. The parent said reviews of Kivihalme’s performance had been largely favorable but there were concerns about a group of dissatisfied parents harassing coaches.

The Lakeville South situation came up Friday during a news conference where longtime Duluth East boys hockey coach Mike Randolph addressed his own resignation. Reading from a prepared statement, Randolph claimed parent pressure contributed to the departures of Kivihalme and Brainerd head coach Dave Aus. Randolph said he resigned because of parent pressure and lack of support from the school administration.

“Sadly there are those who tried to ruin it for others,” Randolph’s statement read. “We all know what’s going on here. Coaches across the state are being run out by parental pressure. The most recent (are) Lakeville South, Brainerd, and now me. This is getting tiresome. But, the number of supportive parents always far outweighed the others.”

Randolph, whose Duluth East teams reached the state tournament 18 times and won two championships, did not elaborate on the situation at any of the schools he mentioned and did not take questions.

The Duluth school district last week confirmed it has been investigating complaints filed against Randolph. The district did not disclose the nature of the complaints nor the status of the investigation.

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