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Lincoln Stars, 9.23

Lincoln Stars head coach Cody Chupp (left) blows his whistle to signal for players to switch on Monday at the Ice Box.

If Lincoln Stars head coach Cody Chupp did not have enough on his plate, he will have a little more in the 2019-20 season.

Chupp, entering his third season as the Stars' head coach, will be in his first as general manager of the Stars, replacing Jon Hull.

“I think it changed my summer and leading up to the season a little bit,” Chupp said. “Some pressure with some things I haven't done before. Anytime you haven't been through it or done it before, you have to rely on those relationships that I have and people that hold the GM title. Ask a lot of questions and learn as much as I can.”

With the new title next to his name, nothing changes from a coaching standpoint, Chupp said. When he is on the ice with the players, he is a head coach.

“From a coaching standpoint, it's basically go about your business as you have in the past,” Chupp said. “Continuing every day to get better as a coach, because when I am on the ice, I'm not thinking about my duties as a general manager. I'm thinking about my duties as a head coach to prepare this group to be ready to go on the weekend, and ultimately put the best product on the ice as we can.”

Chupp guided the Stars to a playoff berth in his first season as head coach in the 2017-18 season with a 29-27-2 record.

The Stars have started strong in the early 2019-20 campaign, going 1-1 in the Fall Classic in Pittsburgh. After a 3-0 loss to the Fargo Force on Thursday, Lincoln rebounded with a 4-2 victory Friday over Muskegon.

But the Fall Classic is more than just the opening of the USHL season.

“It's a long trip, which is what I like at the beginning of the year,” Chupp said Monday before the team left. “I know I've said it before, but it gives guys time to get away from everything else that is going on and spend a lot of quality time together.

“The start that we get off to is important to us. Traditionally teams that get off to good starts are generally ones that we are talking about as we head towards playoff time. We want to make sure that we get off on the right foot, understanding there is a lot of work to be done, and a lot of learning left to do.”

The Stars return to action Friday in Sioux Falls, before hosting the defending Clark Cup champions Stampede on Saturday at the Ice Box.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7431 or tgray@journalstar.com.

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