Wings name new head coach for 2021-22 season

ABERDEEN, S.D. Aberdeen Wings head coach Scott Langer has accepted a new head coaching position with the Fargo Force, a member of the United States Hockey League (USHL).

Assistant coach Michael Hill will also head to Fargo with Langer.

“I would like to deeply thank Scott Langer for his contributions that brought the Aberdeen Wings to the top of the North American Hockey League,” Aberdeen Wings president Greg Odde said. “His friendship and camaraderie will be missed greatly. I would also like to thank Michael Hill for his contributions to the success of the team in his three years here. Good luck to both of you and your families in Fargo and the future!”

Steve Jennings has accepted the open position in Aberdeen and will be assuming the duties of head coach effective immediately. Jennings has worked directly with Langer since the 2004-05 hockey season and has been the Wings’ Director of Player Personnel since 2016.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Jennings to head coach and manager of hockey operations for the Aberdeen Wings,” Odde said. “Steve earned this promotion by hard work and the love of the game. Steve played a big part in building the Wings to where they are now.”

Jennings, a self-described “man of a thousand hats,” was most recently the head coach of the Nashville Jr. Predators, an 18UAAA team. He’s also the Tier 1 Director for the Jr. Predators, as well as the Director of Operations for Total Package Hockey.

“I have huge shoes to fill behind the legacy Langer created, and I’ll try to continue that,” Jennings said. “The fan base and ownership have high expectations and know what Wings hockey is all about. I’m excited to be there to continue the journey.”

Jennings, who already played an integral part in recruiting Wings players for the past five years, is excited for the future of the organization.

“We will continue to build off the great structure and culture we already have,” he said. “We have all invested into making Aberdeen a true destination for hockey players and there’s no need to change that.”

With Coach Langer and Coach Hill heading to North Dakota, Jennings said he’ll be on the lookout for an assistant coach.

“We’re working on people to come in to help us out,” he said. “Finding the next person to fit into our culture is the next step of the process.”

“I want to thank the Odde family for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a first-class organization for the last five years,” Langer said. “I want to thank the staff, community of Aberdeen and the Wings fans for the support that gave me and my family. Aberdeen will be getting a tremendous person and coach in Steve Jennings.”

The Aberdeen Wings will play their first games of the season at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN on Sept. 15-18. They’ll be on the road the following weekend, Sept. 24-25 against the North Iowa Bulls before returning to Aberdeen for their home opener on Oct. 1-2, hosting the St. Cloud Norsemen.