Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

Muskegon Lumberjacks named USHL organization of the year


By @MichaelCaples –

An impressive 2018-19 season under some new leadership has led the Muskegon Lumberjacks to receive some major recognition from the USHL.

This week, the junior league named the ‘Jacks its organization of the year.

“The league is thrilled to announce the Muskegon Lumberjacks as the Organization of the Year,” said USHL Commissioner Tom Garrity in a release. “The commitment by owners Dan Israel and Bob Kaiser, combined with fantastic leadership from Mike McCall and his staff earned this award, and it is well deserved.”

Jumpstarted by renovations to L.C. Walker Arena prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, the Lumberjacks welcomed nearly 90,000 fans to their home games – topping the previous team benchmark by almost 20 percent.

The on-ice presentation didn’t disappoint the Muskegon crowds, either, as first-year head coach Mike Hamilton led the Lumberjacks to franchise records for wins and points.

“Our mission is to become the best junior hockey organization in the world,” said new president Mike McCall. “This year, we took a big step in that direction.

“I really believe it’s a combination of things; the commitment of ownership, the performance of the team, and the new strategy and efforts of the front office staff. We also have to give the City of Muskegon a lot of credit; they were a visionary with the renovations to the arena and, because of that, we were able to allow all types of sports fans to enjoy the great game of hockey.”