By Gary Herron, Rio Rancho Observer
It only seems like Jason Kersner's been involved with ice most of his life.
The one-time bartender and former hockey player's life is all about ice now. He's the new coach of the New Mexico Mustangs hockey team, which begins its second North American Hockey League season this fall.
Kersner, 28, isn't much older than the team's players, who range in age from 16 to 20.
But it's doubtful they'll be as passionate about the game as he is. A native of Rockville, Md., Kersner has been coaching Tier I teams in the Maryland area for the past 10 years - basically, since he decided he was too small to pursue a pro career on the ice.
"I was 19 when I took over a (Midget AAA) team," he said, proud of his success to date. "I fell in love with coaching when I was 18."
He soon built a team from scratch, called the D.C. Capitals of the NAPHL.
Named the team's coach in late June, succeeding former Michigan star and NHL veteran Bill Muckalt - who took an assistant coaching position at Michigan Tech - Kersner was in New Mexico for the first time last Saturday.