Timing right for Griffin to join Hawkeyes as assistant GM

CORALVILLE, Iowa – Lester Griffin has a solid background in the game of hockey, and it’s that knowledge and experience that has brought Griffin to the University of Iowa.

Recently, Griffin was named the Hawkeyes’ assistant general manager, working alongside general manager Kevin Brooks.

According to Griffin, the new role is a homecoming of sorts.

“I grew up as a teen in Cedar Rapids as a Hawkeyes fan,” Griffin said. “I met with then-head coach Kevin Brooks in 2019 inquiring if the team needed help in the 2020 season. I initially was planning on being involved then, but between the pandemic and the Derecho that hit Iowa, the season was canceled. Everything then fell into place for the current 2021-22 season.

“I like that they are striving to go to an ACHA Division I program, and I can be a part of that. The Hawkeyes hockey program has a successful, strong track record with a dedicated group of players, and that says a lot.”

Griffin’s background in the game includes managing the Little Caesars’ 18U AAA team out of Detroit’s storied Joe Louis Arena, co-owning the NAHL’s Traverse City North Stars and sitting on the NAHL Board of Directors, and owning and operating the USPHL’s Traverse City Hounds.

For several years following those roles, Griffin served as the assistant GM for the Jamaican Olympic Ice Hockey Federation where he assisted in the formation of exhibition teams utilizing Jamaican players, helping the junior team win tournaments in Toronto and Nova Scotia.

The JOIHF then formed a men’s team in 2019 and participated in the LATAM Cup against other international teams in Coral Springs Fla. Team Jamaica won the tournament and will be defending the Cup next month.

Now immersing himself with the Hawkeyes, Griffin assists in game operations and any assigned duties and tasks by the Player Board of Directors, Brooks, and Matt Schaefer, the school’s assistant director of sports programs.

“One of my goals is to help promote the team to build a good fan base along with a good group of people to assist in game operational needs,” said Griffin. “As a law enforcement officer in the Charleston, S.C., area, now retired, the game of hockey was and is my passion. It is so rewarding to assist hockey players and a great social outlet.”

The Hawkeyes are off this coming weekend before hosting St. Louis University for two games Oct. 8-9 from Coral Ridge. Game time is 7 p.m. Friday night and 1:30 p.m. for the finale on Saturday.

For more, visit HawkeyesHockey.net.