Jets owner McCoshen named to Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame
August 5, 2016
Superior, Wisconsin native, Janesville Jets Owner/Governor and NAHL Chairman of the Board Bill McCoshen, along with UW-River Falls men’s hockey coach Steve Freeman, have been selected for induction to the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is Sept. 10 in Eagle River.
In addition, and at the same ceremony, the Wisconsin High School Hockey Coaches Association will induct Lowell MacDonald from Milwaukee into the Wisconsin High School Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
McCoshen, who currently lives in Madison, played youth hockey for the Superior Amateur Hockey Association and was a starting defenseman for three years for the Superior Senior High School Spartan hockey team.
Each of those three years resulted in Superior competing in the WIAA state championship game, with Superior winning in 1981 and 1982 and finishing as the runner-up in 1983.
McCoshen spent his college freshman year at UW-Superior and then transferred to UW-Madison, from which he graduated with a degree in political science in 1987. Though he spent only one year at UWS, McCoshen was later named a distinguished alumnus of that institution.
Following his graduation, McCoshen’s professional career would gravitate to politics. At age 27, McCoshen was the youngest gubernatorial chief of staff in the United States. At age 29, he was the youngest cabinet secretary ever appointed in Wisconsin history.
Prior to being appointed Secretary of Development, McCoshen managed Gov. Tommy Thompson’s historic third term campaign victory. The landslide 68 percent victory in 1994 was the largest margin since 1922 and the second highest in state history. McCoshen was named Wisconsin’s first commerce secretary after a major government reorganization in 1996.
As his family grew, so did McCoshen’s life-long love for the sport of ice hockey. Though busy in his professional life, he created many opportunities for youth skaters across the state. He was president of the Southwest (Verona) Hockey Association for several years. He is the founder of the Kohlman Cup Peewee Tournament and co-founder and past board member of the Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL). McCoshen is a past general manager and assistant coach of the Team Wisconsin 16U boys team. During his five Team Wisconsin years, three of the 16U teams qualified for the National Tournament.
McCoshen is the founder and managing partner of the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League and chairman of the NAHL Board of Governors. McCoshen’s aim with the Jets, the WEHL and the Kohlman Cup is for greater participation for kids from across the state of Wisconsin.
In the words of Waterloo Black Hawks head coach and general manager, P.K. O’Handley: “He loves his state; he is about the game and the kids who play it.”
McCoshen was twice named one of the Most Influential People in Madison. He is also a past member of the Wisconsin Alumni Association Board, and past chairman of the Keep Wisconsin Warm Campaign and is a past member of the Pettit National Ice Center Board.
McCoshen is the managing partner of Capitol Consultants, Inc., a top government affairs firm, and the co-founder and partner of Capitol Opinion, a public policy research firm. He and his wife Carol have been married 26 years and have three children, Patrick, Regan and Cale.