Former pro and UNH assistant captain comes home to share his experience with student-athletes
(DENVER, CO – August 21, 2020) – Jordan Pietrus, Executive Director of Total Package Hockey (TPH) Colorado, has announced the addition of Brett Kostolansky as the Director of Hockey Operations for the Denver division. Kostolansky brings with him a tremendous amount of experience from playing Division-I college hockey and taking the next step to the professional level.
“We were looking for someone that first and foremost is of high character,” said Pietrus on hiring Kostolansky. “Everyone we spoke to about Brett spoke extremely highly of him and his character. Our directors are leading young men and women and spending a lot of time with them and mentoring them. His hockey experience both playing and coaching is something we were looking for. He’s a former Thunderbird. He played prep school and then went to the University of New Hampshire, which is one of the top college programs in the country. Then, he had a chance to play professionally after college. Being a homegrown Colorado youth hockey player and now having the opportunity to give back to the next generation is something that’s really exciting for us.”
Following his time in youth hockey programs in Denver, Kostolansky played two seasons of prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. He then played for the Chicago Steel of the USHL for one season before beginning his college career at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Kostolansky played all four years at UNH and then spent three seasons with the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL. He took a path that so many TPH student-athletes wish to take, and now he’s come home to share that experience.
“I think it’s real special to join TPH, especially growing up here in Denver,” said Kostolansky. “Being able to give back to the community and be a part of the Denver hockey community has always been a goal of mine. I grew up here, went through the youth programs and took that path. I’m excited to pass that experience down to the youth hockey players here in Denver.”
Being a former college athlete provides a wealth of knowledge about finding the balance between athletics and education. Kostolansky understands how important education is at TPH and how it molds young minds into being upstanding members of society.
“I learned that you don’t take the education part for granted,” Kostolansky said. “That’s subtly the most important part. Your mind may be more towards the hockey part, but your education, and what you put in the classroom and what you get out of that, is the most important part of being a student-athlete in furthering your hockey career, or any career for that matter.
During his senior year at UNH, Kostolansky wore an “A” as an assistant captain for the team. Being a leader is not an easy task. It’s not something that’s just given. It has to be earned, and Kostolansky is prepared to create future leaders at TPH.
“I think it’s your preparation and being a good role model,” said Kostolansky on what it takes to lead by example. “To be a leader, first and foremost you have to have your teammates look up to you. You have to set the right example. It starts with that and that’s on your own preparation, your own processes and that will bleed down to the rest of the organization. Just setting that good example gets everyone off on the right foot and creates a great culture.”
Kostolansky is bringing the right mindset to mentor the student-athletes in Denver. He’s ready to help them pursue their goals, whatever they may be. By providing them with the right tools for life, it will lead to more opportunities athletically.
“We want our players to be advancing athletically,” said Jordan Pietrus. “We want them to play at the highest level possible. The most important thing for us is preparing them for life. If we can mentor them and give them tools that will help them win at life, that’s what we’re really striving full. If we help them achieve their goals athletically, that’s just a bonus for us.”