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Red Knight Staff

BSM Boys' Hockey Staff

Head Coach: Ken Pauly
Assistant Coach: John Russo
Assistant Coach: Casey Maikkula
Assistant Coach: Grant Besse
Assistant Coach/Director of Operations: Derrick Raymond
Goalie Coach: Grant Holler
Junior Varsity Head Coach: Chris McGowan
Junior Varsity Assistant Coach: Tanner Grina
Junior Varsity Assistant Coach: Dave Liebrenz
Director of Communications/Statistics and Analytics: Craig Roberts
Team Chaplain: Mike Jeremiah
Student Staff: Student Staff

Head Coach Ken Pauly

Entering his 31st season at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, and 34th season as a head coach in 2023-23, is Ken Pauly, who is in his second stint behind the Red Knight bench.

The 2012 Mariucci Award winner, as the state’s Class AA coach of the year, Pauly has 37 years of high school hockey coaching under his belt, including 34 seasons at BSM.

A Red Knight assistant coach for three years, Pauly took over the reins of the Red Knights in 1990 and began building one of the elite programs in the state, leading the team to Class A state titles in 1999 and 2001.

Pauly was the Red Knights’ head coach for 14 years before taking over at Minnetonka in 2004. He stayed on with the Skippers for three seasons before returning to BSM for the 2007-08 season.

Upon returning to BSM, he took the team to its first Class AA state tournament, claiming third-place honors in 2008, and won the program’s first AA title in 2012.

During his 30 years as the Red Knights’ bench boss, Pauly has amassed three state titles, 16 conference championships and has compiled a 521-246-27 record, making him the winningest coach in the program’s 62-year history.

From 2004 to 2007 he was the head coach at Minnetonka, where his Skippers won the 2006 Classic Lake Conference title and advanced to Class AA state tournament for just the second time in the school’s history, and its fourth state tournament appearance overall, claiming the consolation title.

He was named the Section 6AA coach of the year for his efforts and was also named Minnetonka High School’s 2006 Coach of the Year.

In his 33 years as a head coach, Pauly has put together a 565-277-34 record. He ranks 10th in career victories among Minnesota coaches and second among active coaches. He passed Gene Sack, who coached the first Benilde hockey team in 1958-59, during the 2015-16 campaign on the state’s all-time wins list.

His 300th career win came at the St. Louis Park Rec Center, Jan. 8, 2009, when the Red Knights defeated St. Louis Park, 4-1. His 300th win at BSM came Jan. 29, 2011, as the Red Knights defeated Holy Angels, 8-6.

Pauly became the 19th coach in state history to record 400 career victories on Nov. 29, 2013, when BSM knocked off Duluth Denfeld, 7-2.

He won his 400th career game as the Red Knights’ head coach when Peter Heimbold scored with three minutes, 22 seconds to play in regulation and Cade Gleekel scored with 24 seconds remaining in overtime to give BSM a 2-1 win at 16th-ranked Farmington.

On Jan. 16, 2020, Pauly became the 14th coach in state history to record 500 career victories when the Red Knights posted a 6-3 win at Bloomington Jefferson.

He is now ninth all-time in career wins among Minnesota coaches and is third among active coaches.

Pauly has also worked with USA hockey’s development program, where he served on the Regional 16- and 17-year-old staffs at the Olympic Training Centers in Marquette, Mich., St. Cloud, Minn., and Lake Placid, N.Y.

In 2009, Pauly won his second Minnesota Wild 3M Excellence in Coaching Award, an honor he also received in 2007 while coaching Minnetonka.

Pauly Career Record

School Season W L T Pct.
BSM 1990-91 18 5 0 .783
BSM 1991-92 13 8 2 .609
BSM 1992-93 10 12 0 .455
BSM 1993-94 13 12 0 .520
BSM 1994-95 11 11 2 .500
BSM 1995-96 14 7 2 .652
BSM 1996-97 6 16 2 .292
BSM 1997-98 18 6 1 .740
BSM 1998-99 26 2 0 .929
BSM 1999-00 23 7 0 .767
BSM 2000-01 22 9 0 .710
BSM 2001-02 11 14 1 .442
BSM 2002-03 18 8 1 .685
BSM 2003-04 17 7 2 .692
Minnetonka 2004-05 8 15 2 .360
Minnetonka 2005-06 20 10 1 .661
Minnetonka 2006-07 16 6 4 .692
BSM 2007-08 27 4 0 .871
BSM 2008-09 21 7 0 .750
BSM 2009-10 17 7 3 .685
BSM 2010-11 22 5 0 .815
BSM 2011-12 25 6 0 .806
BSM 2012-13 22 6 0 .786
BSM 2013-14 15 9 3 .611
BSM 2014-15 15 10 2 .593
BSM 2015-16 25 1 1 .944
BSM 2016-17 7 18 1 .288
BSM 2017-18 12 12 2 .500
BSM 2018-19 20 8 0 .714
BSM 2019-20 18 8 2 .679
BSM 2020-21 15 6 0 .714
BSM 2021-22 22 6 0 .786
BSM 2022-23 18 9 0 .667
Totals 33 Seasons 565 277 34 .664
BSM Totals 20 Seasons 521 246 27 .673

A lifetime member of the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association, he served over 10 years on the MHCA’s Executive Board; three of those as President. In addition, Coach Pauly served six years as a member of the Herb Brooks Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Pauly teaches full time in BSM’s social studies department and serves as chair of that department. An award winning teacher, he earned the school’s Faculty of the Year Award in 2012 and the Red Knight Leadership Award in 2015. He was chosen as BSM’s commencement speaker in 1997 and in 2018, he received his 20 Years of Service honor as a faculty member.

Pauly earned a bachelor of art’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota in 1989. He and his wife, Anne Marie Dominguez, an English teacher at BSM, reside in Plymouth. 

Assistant Coach John Russo

John Russo returns for his 17th season at BSM, where he coaches the Red Knights’ defense and is in charge of the team’s penalty-killing unit. He came to BSM in 2007 after filling a similar role on Ken Pauly’s staff at Minnetonka.

The last four seasons have seen the Red Knights post their best penalty-kill efficiencies in Russo’s 15=6 season, including a 62-for-66 mark in 2020-21, good for a .939 efficiency, the best mark by a BSM team in over 30 years.

In 27 years as a high school coach, Russo is recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in high school hockey. He has been a member of five state tournament coaching staffs and has earned three Section Assistant Coach of the Year awards (2008, 2012, 2018) at BSM, for a total of five career awards.

He has served as a head coach in the highly-regarded Upper Midwest High School Elite League and has been a part of the coaching staffs at Blake School, Orono High School and Minnetonka High School, along with three seasons as an assistant coach at Gustavus Adolphus College.

In 2015 he was named the chairman of the Hobey Baker Committee, tasked with choosing college hockey’s top player, and remains as a member of the board of directors. Russo is an attorney who resides in Plymouth with his wife and family.

Assistant Coach Casey Maikkula

Casey Maikkula is entering his 15th season as a high school hockey coach, and sixth season with the Red Knights.

Prior to joining the Coach Pauly’s staff, Casey served as an assistant coach at his alma-mater, Robbinsdale Cooper High School for five seasons, followed by year-long stops at St. Michael-Albertville and Rogers, before a three-year stint at Maple Grove - one as an assistant with the boys program, and two as an assistant with the girls program.

While at Maple Grove, Maikkula helped each team reach the state tournament for the second time in their histories; the boys in 2016-2017, and the girls in 2018-2019.

Since joining the Red Knights in the fall of 2017, Maikkula has been tasked with various responsibilities by Coach Pauly; ranging from on ice skill development to off-ice scouting and social media coordination.

This season will mark his second as a full-time varsity assistant with the Red Knights.

Maikkula earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Metropolitan State University in 2012 and, along with coaching, has served as a social media consultant for professional athletes, musicians, and other public figures since 2010. Most notably, former Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson.

He and his wife, Sara, were married this summer.and reside in Maple Grove with their two dogs; Trixie & Taz.

Volunteer Assistant Coach Grant Besse

In his second season on the Red Knights staff is Grant Besse, the 2013 Mr. Hockey Award winner who returns to the fold after a four-year collegiate career and five-year professional career.

Besse made national news when he led Benilde-St. Margaret's to a 5-1 victory in the 2012 state Class AA championship game, scoring all five Red Knight goals, including the final three short-handed.

After winning the Mr. Hockey Award in 2013, Besse was selected in the fifth round, 147th overall, of the NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.

A four-year varsity letter winner, Besse scored 50 points in all four of his seasons at BSM, including career bests of 52 goals, 41 assists and 93 points in 2012-13.

After a 48-goal, 76-point senior season, Besse had set career school records for goals (163), points (272), shots on goal (711), game winning goals (19), power-play goals (42), and plus/minus rating (+160).

Besides earning Mr. Hockey honors in 2013, was a three-time All-North Suburban Conference honoree, was named the Associated Press Player of the Year (2013) and was an AP first-team all-state pick as a junior and senior.

Besides earning Mr. Hockey honors in 2013, was a three-time All-North Suburban Conference honoree, was named the Associated Press Player of the Year (2013) and was an AP first-team all-state pick as a junior and senior.

Additionally, he was the Minneapolis Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year in 2013 and a first-team All-Metro pick in both 2012 and 2013.

He was named honorable mention all-state in 2011 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press and to the second team in 2012, in addition to being named to the All-State Tournament team.

A two-sport standout at BSM, Besse also earned three letters in baseball, culminating his career by being named to the All-North Suburban Conference team as a senior.

He batted .302 in his three seasons, playing both catcher and third base. He hit .362 as a junior and shared the team lead with 18 RBI, starting 21 of 22 games.

During a four-year career at the University of Wisconsin, the Badgers won a conference title and advanced to the NCAA tournament his freshman season. He led the Badgers in scoring in both 2016 (33) and 2017 (28) while serving as an assistant captain both seasons., finishing his career with 97 points in 137 game.

After finishing his collegiate career in 2017, Besse went on to spent time in both the East Coast Hockey League and American Hockey League each of the next two seasons. He then spent three seasons playing in Europe, where he tallied 56 points in 79 games over three seasons, two in Germany and one in Austria.

Assistant Coach/Director of Operations Derrick Raymond

Derrick Raymond enters his 10th season with the BSM hockey program, filling several rolls and now pulls double duty as an assistant coach and as the team’s director of operations, providing analysis and other duties related to team operations.

Prior to joining the Red Knights, he worked for six years as a member of the staff at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

Highly involved in youth sports, Raymond has served in numerous capacities for the Armstrong-Cooper Youth Hockey Association, where he is a member of the ACYHA player development committee.

Raymond currently resides in New Hope with his wife, Jessica, and their four children, Jeff, a sophomore at Drake University, John, Natalie and Nicole. He is employed by Johnson Paper, a division of Dacotah Paper.

Goalie Coach Grant Holler

Grant Holler is in his fourth season as the Red Knights' Goaltending Coach, working with both the Varsity and JV goalies.

After his high school career at Culver Military Academy, he spent two seasons in the NA3HL for the Granite City Lumberjacks and Breezy Point North Stars. In his rookie season, Holler saw action in 14 games and helped his team to the NA3HL title.

After two seasons of junior hockey, Holler attended the University of St. Thomas, where he majored in Business Law and Spanish Linguistics. 

Holler brings diverse coaching experience from past internships with Bandits Goalie School in Michigan and Crossfit Fast Factory in 
St. Cloud, as well as working for Fortis Academy as the Lead Goalie Instructor since 2019.

In addition to developing athletes, he works as a Product Manager in the Financial Services Industry.

Holler resides in Northeast Minneapolis with his wife, Rachel, and two dogs.

Junior Varsity Head Coach Chris McGowan

Chris McGowan (BSM ‘91) returns for his 17th season guiding the Red Knights’ junior varsity squad.

A member of Ken Pauly’s first varsity hockey team at BSM in 1990-91, He has 10 years of youth hockey coaching experience.

Over the previous 16 seasons, McGowan has led BSM’s junior varsity squad to a 247-114-29 record, which includes last season's 21-2-2 record, the best record for the McGowan-led JV squad.

He served as the head bantam A coach at Minnetonka for three years prior to his return to BSM for the 2007-08 season. He also coached bantam hockey in the Edina Youth Hockey Association for seven seasons.

A three-sport athlete during his prep career, competing in hockey, soccer and tennis, McGowan attended St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., where he played soccer for four years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the school in 1995 and also holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.

McGowan was raised in Edina and currently resides in Victoria with his wife, Jane, and children, Caitlin and C.J. He is employed by Staples, Inc., as a Manging Director for their Healthcare & Strategic Accounts business.

JV Assistant Dave Liebrenz

Dave Liebrenz came to BSM for his second stint as a Red Knight coach in 2007 after serving on Ken Pauly’s staff at Minnetonka.

In his role, he serves as a practice assistant for the Red Knights, assists with stats and is responsible for set up of both varsity and junior varsity

He helped found and coached BSM’s bantam program before joining Pauly’s staff in 1992. He has over 30 years of coaching experience and also coached in the Osseo-Maple Grove Youth Hockey Association.

A 1978 graduate of Wayzata High School, Liebrenz played hockey, soccer and baseball for the Trojans and went onto play hockey collegiately at Gustavus Adolphus, where he graduated from in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in both psychology and business.

A member of both the American Production and Inventory Control Society and the Institute for Supply Management, Liebrenz holds several professional certifications. He resides in Plymouth.

Director of Communications/ Statistics and Analytics Craig Roberts

In his 18th season with the Red Knight program is Craig Roberts, who serves as the program’s Director of Communications/Statistics and Analytics.

In his role, Roberts manages the program's website, handles media requests, compiles statistics and analytical data, works with event management and provides administrative support from his home in Marshall, Wis.

He has worked on the sports information staffs at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota as well as serving as the assistant commissioner for public relations with College Hockey America for three years and as the sports information director at Macalester College.

During his work with college hockey programs, he has been a part of three NCAA championships -- 1989 and 1990 NCAA Division III with UW-Stevens Point men, and 2000 NCAA Division I with University of Minnesota women.

Since moving back to Wisconsin, he has worked with the University of Wisconsin as a statistician for men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's hockey.

Roberts has been involved in the planning and management of three NCAA Frozen Fours, an NCAA Final Four, the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships, the 2001 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship and served as a stats manager for the 2022 IIHF Women's World U18 Championship in Madison, Wis.

He has also worked at numerous Minnesota State High School League and Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournaments, regional and national youth events as well as providing statistics and media relations support for many NCAA universities and conferences.

In addition, Roberts worked with BSM’s football, volleyball and baseball teams previously as well as the volleyball programs at Coon Rapids and Lakeville North, where he was a member of the Panthers’ 2017 Class AAA state championship and 2019 consolation championship staffs.

Roberts also continues to work with Da Beauty League, a 4-on-4 pro-am summer league at Braemar Arena in Edina. He also does statistics work for Bally Sports broadcasts of numerous events.

After spending 22 years residing in the Twin Cities, he accepted a position with Production Enterprises, Inc., in July, 2019, in Marshall, Wis.

A native of Ashland, Wis., where he was a 1985 graduate of Ashland High School, Roberts attended UW-Stevens Point before completing his bachelor’s degree in mass communication at Minnesota State in 1997.

All requests to the Red Knight hockey program can be made by contacting Roberts via email at

Team Chaplain Mike Jeremiah

The spiritual leader of the Red Knights, and the Benilde-St. Margaret's community, is campus minister Mike Jeremiah, who is entering his 13th season working directly with the BSM boys' hockey program.

Mr. J. began his work as Campus Minister at Benilde-St. Margaret's in the Fall of 1975, after graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a masters degree in secondary education.

After many years of creating and working with the school's retreat program, he currently serves as a member of the Liturgy Team, provides personal/spiritual counseling in individual/small group settings, facilitates support groups dealing with family issues and grief support, and provides prayer opportunities for students, faculty and staff, and teams and activities.

Student Staff

Front Row (left to right): Shelby Loberg, Lucia Halstrom, Avery Coen, Erin Anderson, Ellie Hilbrands, Marin King.

Back row: Sebastian Proudlock, Anushka Poppler, Piper Crowley, Maddy Poppler, Anna Brown.