The Madison Capitols are a junior ice hockey team based in Madison, Wisconsin. They compete in the United States Hockey League (USHL), the top junior league in the United States. Since their inception in 2014, the Capitols have made a name for themselves as a competitive and successful team in the USHL. This success can be credited in large part to the leadership of their head coach, Garrett Suter, and the legacy he has created within the program.
Garrett Suter, a Wisconsin native, has been with the Capitols since their first season in the USHL. He brought with him a wealth of experience, having played professional hockey in both the United States and Europe. Suter also had previous coaching experience at the high school level, which proved to be invaluable in his role as head coach of the Capitols.
Under Suter’s guidance, the Madison Capitols have become a force to be reckoned with in the USHL. In their first season, the team posted a record of 35-17-8 and has continued to improve every year since. In the 2019-2020 season, the Capitols achieved their best record to date (38-16-4) and reached the Clark Cup playoffs for the first time in team history. This success is a direct result of Suter’s leadership and his ability to bring out the best in his players.
One of the most notable aspects of Suter’s coaching style is his emphasis on teamwork and creating a strong team dynamic. Suter has instilled a culture within the Capitols that values hard work and camaraderie both on and off the ice. He emphasizes the importance of players supporting and pushing each other to be their best, creating a cohesive and competitive team.
Suter’s coaching staff, consisting of assistants Ben Murphy and Doug Christiansen, also plays a crucial role in the success of the team. Murphy and Christiansen bring a combination of experience and knowledge to the table, adding to Suter’s leadership and guidance. This cohesive coaching staff has been instrumental in developing the young players on the team and helping them reach their full potential.
In addition to creating a strong team culture, Suter has also focused on developing the skills and abilities of individual players. He has a keen eye for talent and strategically places players in positions that will allow them to excel. This targeted approach to player development has led to several Capitols players being drafted into the NHL, further solidifying the success of the program and the impact of Suter’s leadership.
Off the ice, Suter also prioritizes the education of his players. The USHL is a junior league, meaning players are typically between the ages of 16 and 20 and still in school. Suter and his coaching staff make a point to ensure their players are keeping up with their studies and even provide tutoring and academic support when needed. This emphasis on academic success sets the Capitols apart from other junior teams and helps players prepare for their future, whether it be in hockey or other pursuits.
Suter’s leadership style also focuses on building relationships with the community and giving back. Under his guidance, the Capitols have been actively involved in various charitable events and community outreach programs, such as the Pillsbury Don’t String the Jacks game, which raised money for childhood cancer awareness. This involvement not only strengthens the team’s connection with the community but also instills in players the importance of giving back and being role models for others.
The Madison Capitols have established themselves as a top team in the USHL, thanks to the leadership of head coach Garrett Suter. His emphasis on teamwork, individual player development, and community involvement has had a profound impact on the program and its players. The Capitols’ success on the ice and involvement in the community is a testament to Suter’s leadership and the enduring legacy he has created within the organization.