MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., May 7, 2019 – Saint Thomas Academy has selected Trent Eigner as the next head coach of its hockey program, effective immediately. Eigner is currently head coach of Lakeville North hockey, where he has led the Panthers to 1 state championship, 1 second place finish and 2 additional state tournament appearances; 7 consecutive Section I championship games; and 3 conference championships since taking over the program in 2011-2012.
“Through a robust search process, we evaluated many candidates with outstanding hockey credentials and successful coaching records,” said Headmaster Matt Mohs ’90. “Ultimately, Trent was chosen because he understands that Saint Thomas Academy places a high value on both character development and the pursuit of athletic excellence. He is the man I want coaching our Cadets.”
Eigner, a father of 6, prides himself on mentoring his players to become both outstanding hockey players and upstanding young men. “The opportunity to coach cadet hockey was one I couldn’t pass up,” Eigner said. “Saint Thomas Academy is an institution I have admired for some time. The administration’s and broader community’s commitment to excellence on and off the ice, the boys’ passion for hockey and the resources available to extend the Academy’s tradition of success made it a very attractive program to lead. I look forward to furthering Saint Thomas Academy as one of the premier high school hockey programs in the country and developing young men that reflect the school’s core values of faith, excellence, integrity and respect.”
As head coach of the Panthers, Eigner had a career record of 133-68-1. In the 2014-2015 season, his Panthers went 31-0 on the way to winning the state championship. The team was voted one of the top 5 teams of all time. The year prior, the Panthers went 26-5 and placed second in the state tournament.
“I strive to create mutual respect between the players and coach, and an environment in which players feel confident they can compete within the team concept,” Eigner said. “I believe strongly that individual and team success are directly related to attitude, effort and personal accountability.”
Eigner developed Lakeville’s players to compete beyond high school, including one player currently in the NHL, 3 NHL draft picks, 14 Division I players, 1 National Development Training Program player and 3 Mr. Hockey candidates. He has been recognized as both South Suburban Conference Coach of the Year and Section I Coach of the Year. He has served 6 years as liaison to the Lakeville Hockey Association.
“I attribute much of my success as a player and a person to Coach Eigner,” said Ryan Poehling of the Montreal Canadiens. “He taught me many lessons throughout my three years having him as my head coach. I felt the most important ones were what I learned off the ice. These lessons have continued to help me throughout my career and are staples for what it takes to succeed at any level in hockey. I was blessed to have a coach with such great character for three years.”
Eigner was previously a head coach in the Western Professional Hockey League for two years, leading his team to the playoff semi-final round in his second year. In 2001, he was honored with the Rick Kozuback Award for exemplifying the qualities of perseverance, determination and commitment to the game, sport and business of hockey.
Eigner’s professional playing career includes 4 years in the Western Professional Hockey League, where he was a team captain and contributed to 2 President’s Cup Championships and 2 years in the East Coast Hockey League. He played Division I hockey for Miami of Ohio from 1990 to 1994, helping the Red Hawks win a CCHA championship and NCAA tournament berth in 1993. He served as alternate captain in the 1992-93 season, and team captain in 1993-1994. Prior to college hockey, he played juniors for the USHL Madison Capitals and high school hockey for Rosemount.