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MAP Staff

Dan Donnette

MAP Hockey Director

Dan is born and raised in Anoka, MN. He grew up playing hockey for Anoka High School, where he earned all-conference honors and helped his team to a state tournament birth in 1997.  He began his post high school hockey career playing in the USHL for two years with the Des Moines Buccaneers winning two Anderson cups and one National Championship. Des Moines’s team still holds 2 league records from Dan’s time with the team, Most Wins in a Season and Longest Winning Streak.

Upon completing his tenure with the Buccaneers, Dan played collegiately at Northern Michigan University, where he played for 4 years. He is the only player in school history to earn the Jim Mussatto Memorial Endurance/Fitness 4 years in a row. He graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and a Minor in Marketing.

Upon graduating, Dan played four additional years of professional hockey in the UHL, SPHL, and the CHL.  While in the CHL playing for the Amarillo Gorillas he earned Rookie of the Year for his team. He also spent time playing oversees in the Asian Hockey League for a team based out of Seoul, South Korea.

Dan has been with the company for 8 years and is currently one of the North Campus Mangers. He brings a hardworking, no nonsense attitude to the MAP and the players he works with. He is passionate about helping players develop both on and off-ice and looks forward to working with players who strive to improve their game to the next level.


Garrett Gruenke

Program Development / Lead Instructor

Garrett aka Gman hails from Plymouth, MN. He started playing hockey at age 7 for the Armstrong Youth Hockey Association. In High School, Garrett was a three-sport athlete playing baseball, football, and hockey at Benilde–St Margaret’s. Garrett experienced great success while at BSM where he won two state hockey championships in 1999 and 2001. It was also where he met his longtime mentor/coach Jack Blatherwick, an expert hockey training physiologist. Jack made a significant impact on Gman in a number of ways including how to train sport (Hockey) specific and how to train smart not just hard.

After High School Garrett moved on to play two years in the NAHL for the Bozeman Icedogs. From there he moved on to college and played four years at the University of St Thomas, where he was a part of a National Runner-up team and was a captain his senior year. Garrett then turned pro in 2008 and played 6 years of Professional hockey for the Odessa Jackalopes, Rapid City Rush, and the Wichita Thunder. After the 2014 season, Gman hung up his skates and he now coaches full-time.

Garrett began his career at FHIT working for the MAP program since 2005 and has worked with both the South and North locations. Garrett also has been an Assistant coach for his Alma mater University of St. Thomas since 2014. He primarily works with the team’s defensemen and does video analysis.

One of the coolest things for him is seeing all the kids that have gone through the program over the years that have progressed from Pee Wees/Bantams to now Junior, College, and Professional players.


Dan Daikawa

Guidance Director / Lead Instructor

Dan Daikawa hails from Apple Valley, MN. Dan played 4 years of high school hockey for Rosemount High School. After high school, he played for the North Iowa Huskies in the USHL. Dan continued his hockey career at Miami University from 1991-94. He was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team his freshman season and was a member of the Redhawks team that advanced to the NCAA tournament in 1992.

After college, Dan embarked on a successful playing career in Japan, where he played 11 years in the JIHL and AHL. He was a four-time member of the Japanese National Team, playing on four Pool A World Championship teams, and was a member of the Japanese Olympic Team.

Upon conclusion of his player career, Daikawa returned to his Alma Mater as the head coach of the Miami University club team of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Under his direction, Dan guided the program to four consecutive national tournament appearances. Continuing to diversify his coaching career, Dan went to Jamestown, NY to coach the Jamestown Ironmen of the NAHL, where he was the Head Coach/GM for two seasons. During the 2012-2013 season, he led the team to 37 wins and a birth to the Robertson Cup. The following year he was an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wilderness where he helped guide the Minnesota Wilderness to the fourth best winning percentage in the league and a 37 wins season. The last 3 years he has been the head coach/GM for the Brookings Blizzard of the NAHL. During Dan’s tenure, the team has consistently added 5 wins every year he has coached and has made the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years.

Dan’s main philosophy has always been on skill development and placement of his players. Being a former player Dan understands the impact of an excellent training development program.


Corbin Schmidt

College Guidance / Lead Instructor

Corbin, the Anchorage, Alaska native comes to MAP after coaching at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for 4 successful seasons. Corbin, who grew up and played minor hockey in Anchorage left home in 1999 to play for the Bozeman Icedogs of the former AWHL junior hockey league. After a year in Bozeman Corbin returned to the junior ranks for one more year, this time he was chosen to play in the USHL by the Tri-City Storm in Kearney, Nebraska where he earned an opportunity to go back to his home state and get a college degree while playing for the Nanooks of UAF. Corbin was a 4 year letter winner at UAF where he played both forward and defense. In 2005, After earning a Psychology degree from UAF, Corbin moved back home to play professionally for the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League. In his first season with the Aces they won the national championship coined, “The Kelly Cup”. Corbin remained with the Aces for 3 more years and was part of some very dominating teams.

In 2009, Corbin married his wife, Andrea who is a native of Roseville, Minnesota and the two moved back to the land of 10,000 lakes where Corbin began working at the Minnesota Advancement Program alongside fellow St. Thomas coach Garrett Gruenke. After several years in Minnesota Corbin and Andrea brought a little boy named Hendrik into the world and shortly thereafter is when Corbin received the phone call to head back to Fairbanks, Alaska and coach the Alaska Nanooks. 4 years later, they have returned once again to Minnesota and are very happy to be back in the State of Hockey where Corbin has found a home at MAP.


Andrew Kent

Director of Goaltender Development

Andrew grew up playing youth hockey in Lakeville, MN. Graduating from Lakeville High School in 2002, Andrew went on to play junior hockey with the Twin Cities Northern Lights, where he was selected as an All League Goaltender. Kent continued his playing career at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

Kent was a four-year letter winner at Augsburg, playing from 2005-09. Kent is listed among Augsburg’s all-time top 10 in career saves, career save percentage, and career average saves per game. Kent was an M.I.A.C. All-Conference award winner in 2007 and earned M.I.A.C All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2009. He was also an assistant captain for the Auggies as a senior in 2008-09. Kent graduated from Augsburg in May 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and a minor in management information systems.

Along with his playing experience Kent brings a wealth of coaching experience to the MEGA Goaltending staff. Kent coached in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Games for the Women's Finnish National team. Along with coaching in the Olympics Kent is currently the Goalie coach for the U of M Gophers Women’s hockey team as well as the Augsburg University’s Men’s hockey team. Under his watch with the gophers his goalies have broken numerous records and received many awards. He started coaching the gophers in 2012 and has won 4 NCAA National Champions in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Kent returned to Augsburg College in 2013 and currently serves as the goalie coach for their men's team. Under his watch at Augsburg his goalies have received numerous awards such as All American and All Conference. The team has also won back-to-back MIAC league championships 2016 and 2017.

Kent started coaching with MEGA in 2010 and during his tenure he has also served as the boys' goalie coach at Roseville High School and consulted with various teams, associations, and camps ranging from the youth levels up to Professional Goalies.

Andrew has taken this extensive experience, both as a player and as an instructor, and developed some of the most effective techniques for developing both young and experienced goaltenders.


Steve Cherekos

Director of Strength and Conditioning

Steve Cherekos grew up in the Osseo school district where he excelled in both hockey and lacrosse. Steve battled many injuries that hindered his performance at the time. These injuries also served as great motivation and directed his passion for health, nutrition and injury prevention through strength training.

After high school, Steve attended St. John's University where he played lacrosse and served as a strength and conditioning assistant coach with the College of Saint Benedict. Steve graduated in 2012 with a degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science. He then continued his education at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his Master's degree in Applied Kinesiology.

During his time as a Strength and Conditioning coach Steve has had the opportunity to work with a variety of athletes and coaching staffs, including the United Health Care Professional Cycling Team and the University of Minnesota men and women's hockey teams, under world renowned strength coach Cal Dietz.

In 2013, Steve took over as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at FHIT North Campus where he has successfully written and implemented a wide variety of dynamic programs for athletes of all ages and skill levels. Steve shares all things strength and conditioning on his website, Tomorrow's Athlete.

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