After a six-year professional playing career that included stops in the United States as well as Norway, Germany and Italy, former NCAA Division I standout and European professional hockey player Nick Bruneteau joins the Mason City Toros staff as the team’s head coach in the Toros’ inaugural 2021-22 season.
The Omaha, Nebraska native comes to North Iowa from the Alps Hockey League, spending the last two years with the SG Cortina club. He played four seasons of hockey at the famed Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Faribault, Minnesota, serving as the Sabres’ captain as a senior. Bruneteau went directly to the University of Vermont, notching 58 points for the Catamounts in a four-year collegiate career.
After playing for the Reading Royals and Indy Fuel in the ECHL, he finished his pro career with five seasons in Europe, winning a Norwegian championship with the Stavanger Oilers in 2016. Bruneteau had signed to rejoin the ECHL as a player for the Kalamazoo Wings this past season, but ongoing concerns over COVID-19 forced the team to go dark for 2020-21.
The Bruneteau family name is well-known in American hockey circles, with two older brothers who also played NCAA Division I hockey. Brett Bruneteau played at North Dakota and Vermont, while Matt Bruneteau played two seasons of pro hockey in France and spent the last three years as an assistant coach at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The family’s hockey lineage goes all the way back to grandfather Ed and great-uncle Mud, who combined to make nearly 600 NHL appearances and win three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings in the 1930s and ‘40s.
Washington, D.C. native Marquise Cotten is excited to join the Mason City Toros in his first season as the team’s assistant coach.
As a youth, Cotten played under hockey pioneer and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Neal Henderson as a member of the Fort Dupont club program, before attending Gonzaga College High School and spending a season at the Bridgton Academy in Maine. He would go on to play collegiate hockey at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania and Rowan University in New Jersey, and played a season of junior hockey with the Washington Jr. Nationals in the former Metropolitan Junior Hockey League.
Since finishing his playing career, Cotten has returned to the nation’s capital, serving five seasons as a coach with the Gonzaga College High School hockey program as an assistant varsity coach and junior-varsity head coach. Since returning to Washington, he has also assisted with the Washington Little Capitals AAA program.