Colorado Academy names Nathan Oystrick its first hockey coach

Colorado Academy is starting its hockey program this winter, and on Tuesday announced that Nathan Oystrick will be the team's first coach.

"This is a super strong staff who have some great background in the game," Mustangs athletic director Bill Hall said on Thursday. "We are excited to build our program, especially with Nathan leading the way."

Oystrick played professional hockey for 10 seasons, including a stint with the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers. He played college hockey at Northern Michigan, where he was captain for two seasons.

Oystrick most recently was an assistant with the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL.

Additionally, Mark Popovic and Chris Delaney have been named assistants. Popovic is a former professional hockey player, as well, who also spent time with the Thrashers and the Anaheim Ducks.

Delaney, another former professional player, was the first head coach at Denver East in 2014-15.

Colorado Academy hockey will be a JV team during the 2017-18 season. The plan is to start a varsity schedule in 2018-19.

The Mustangs' new team is the latest indication of growth in the sport. In 2017-18, both Chaparral and Woodland Park will have new varsity teams.