Andy Contois is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Central Illinois Flying Aces.
The Marquette, Michigan, native brings previous junior hockey coaching experience to his position in addition to USHL, NCAA Division I, and professional playing experience.
“The opportunity means everything,” Contois said. “It’s part of the process of coaching. You always want to move up. I’m just extremely grateful for the opportunity that the organization has given me and I’m excited to get moving.”
Contois joins the Flying Aces after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Brookings Blizzard of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).
While with Brookings, Contois helped the Blizzard make the playoffs in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, just the second and third postseason appearances in team history. The playoff berth in 2015-16 was the Blizzard’s first since the 2012-13 season. Contois then played a key role in Brookings earning a second-straight playoff appearance, as the Blizzard improved nine points on their 2015-16 regular season performance with a 30-win season in 2016-17.
During his four-year career at Northern Michigan University from 2002-06, Contois compiled 98 career points in 131 career tilts. After a breakout 36-point junior season that saw him win NMU’s Bill Joyce Top Forward Award, Contois was named an alternate captain for his senior season in 2005-06. He racked up 31 points in 37 games in his senior campaign and went on to win the Jim Mussatto Memorial Endurance/Fitness Award.
Following his collegiate career, Contois played 10 years of professional hockey, including four seasons in the ECHL. His best season came in 2007-08 when he registered 54 points in 67 games between the Stockton Thunder and the Mississippi Sea Wolves. He also had a brief stint in the AHL that season, playing one game for the Norfolk Admirals.
Contois then played internationally for seven seasons before retiring after the 2014-15 season, spending time in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In those seven seasons, he posted 239 points in 242 games. He briefly returned to the United States in the 2010-11 season and helped the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs win the Central Hockey League championship.
Contois also brings junior hockey playing experience to his new post. His first season of junior hockey was just down the road from Bloomington in the state’s capital, as the forward notched 31 games in 54 games for the Springfield Jr. Blues. That strong campaign helped Contois move up to the USHL the next season, as he went on to finish second on the Green Bay Gamblers in scoring with 42 points in 55 games in 2000-01.
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