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New AHAI High School Committee Chairperson Glenn Jauch Talks Pucks & More

By Ross Forman, 06/24/24, 5:45PM CDT


Glenn Jauch, the former president of the IHSHL West Division, has been named the new chairperson for the AHAI High School Committee, starting with the 2024-25 season. He replaces Jack Weinberg and Matt Hallam has been named the new president of Illinois West.

“I’m really looking forward to stepping into the role,” Jauch said. “It’s obviously different from being the president of one league, but I have a good feel for everything that goes on and have the time and the desire to do it – and that’s desperately needed in this role.”

As the chairperson, Jauch is the conduit between all the Illinois high school hockey leagues and AHAI, and he is a member of the AHAI board of directors. He was on the Illinois West board of directors for the past 11 years and the past four seasons as its president. He said the Illinois West experience certainly helped him work with and understand pure and combined division teams, especially since West is loaded with combined division teams, including 2024 combined division state champion Waubonsie/Metea.

Jauch was the president of the Waubonsie Warriors for two years before joining the Illinois West board.

During his run at Illinois West, the league implemented the four-official system, moved scoring to GameSheet and more. “In Illinois West, it was all about the kids,” he said.

Jauch was mentored for his Illinois West role by Jim McKeague who spent 20 years leading the Metro West Hockey League as its president and is a member of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.

“The biggest thing for every (high school) league is that the kids have a good experience playing high school hockey,” Jauch said.

Jauch said there will be about the same number of high school teams for the 2024-25 season as there were this past season. A few teams were forced to merge due to limited players. For instance, Waubonsie is no more after merging with Wheaton West.

Jauch confirmed the JV State Tournament will be back in 2025 with both a pure and combined division JV state championship, as it was in past years.

“We’re really trying to make high school hockey a good destination, a good choice,” Jauch said. “Getting the chance to play in front of fellow students is a big plus for the kids.”

Jauch said there will be no new high school programs this upcoming season, though some organizations may add or drop the number of teams within their program. New Trier, for instance, is reportedly adding a second JV team.

Jauch said the leagues, such as the Scholastic Hockey League, which broadcast games “is a definite plus.” Non-SHL games also were broadcast by the popular SHL Network, which is great, he said.

The SHL, of course, was the hockey home last season for all elite eight teams in the state tournament, which New Trier Green ultimately won, defeating York.

Saint Ignatius played a successful first season in the SHL in 2023-24 and claimed its third straight Chicago Catholic Hockey League Kennedy Cup title, defeating Fenwick in the finals.

Chicago North captured the IHSL North-Central Division regular-season and playoff titles.

Illinois West will have many of the regulars battling for bragging rights in 2025. Wheaton West head coach Keith Fahrforth is the head coach of the combined Waubonsie/Wheaton West club, known as the Warriors Hockey Club, a mix of players from Waubonsie Valley, Metea Valley, Wheaton North and Wheaton-Warrenville South.

Former Waubonsie head coach Jeremy Dombro has retired.

Kankakee will be a new team competing in Illinois West.

Jauch said there will be more involvement between the Chicago Blackhawks and Illinois high school hockey this upcoming season, including the annual Illinois All-State Games and more. The Blackhawks Rivalry Series will continue in the 2024-25 season with new games added to the showcase events.

Jauch said Illinois will send a team to represent the state to the annual America’s Showcase event next spring and potentially a similar fall event. “Showcase is a very important aspect of what we do with Illinois high school hockey,” Jauch said.

Illinois also, hopefully, will have its red division and combined division state champions compete at the USA Hockey National Championships in 2025, he said.

“It’s an exciting time for Illinois hockey and we really going pushing to make high school hockey a destination that all midget-aged kids would like to do,” Jauch said.