A former Lincoln Stars defenseman is returning to the bench.
Michael Sdao, who played for Lincoln from 2007-09, rejoins the Stars as an assistant coach, head coach and general manager Chris Michael announced Monday.
Sdao and his 6-foot-4 frame helped the Stars to two playoff appearances as a player, and leashed the opposition as the Stars' "Big Dog" at the blue line, accounting for 340 penalty minutes in 104 games as a Star.
The Lincoln Stars removed Chris Michael's interim head coach and general manager tag, Stars owner Ryan Schiff announced Wednesday.
“I am pumped,” Sdao said. “It is an absolute honor to be asked to come back to Lincoln and help guide this generation of Stars players. “(And a) massive thank you to (Stars owner) Ryan Schiff, Chris Michael and (athletic trainer and equipment manager) Corey Courtney and the rest of the Stars organization for their desire to bring me back to start my coaching career.”
Sdao went on to play professionally and last suited up in 2019 with the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL before the season was canceled March 15 due to COVID-19.
“My desire to become a coach is something that evolved over the last few years of my playing career,” Sdao said. “I was one of the older guys on the team and I had AHL experience, so it was important for me to be both a leader and mentor to a few of our first and second-year pros on our team in Adirondack. I found a lot of satisfaction helping my younger teammates, which will translate to my passion to help guide Stars players.”
Sdao becomes the third coach hired by Michael this offseason. He joins associate head coach Nick Peruzzi and goalie coach Jason Power.
“If you look around the league at teams that have had continued success from year to year, something that is very hard to do in the USHL, the common them is they have a full staff that can not only help the players but pushes each other in our own development as coaches, which creates an environment where everyone is getting better every single day,” Michael said. “Each member of the staff will have their own responsibilities with different facets of what is required, but the most important thing is that we are all in this together and we are all here for the same purpose, which is to better our organization day by day.”