Travis Winter is in his third season as an assistant coach at Bemidji State University after getting his coaching feet wet in the United States (USHL) and North American (NAHL) Hockey Leagues.
Winter directly oversees the play of Bemidji State's defensive corps and power-play unit. During his tenure, the Beavers have consistently been among the WCHA's stingiest defenses, which includes leading the WCHA and finishing second in the nation in 2016-17 after surrendering just 1.57 goals per league contests and 1.92 goals per game overall. The BSU power-play unit also headlined the WCHA in 2016-17 finishing the regular-season scoring on 25-of-115 opportunities (.217). He has also been responsible for mentoring All-WCHA selections Matt Prapavessis and Ruslan Pedan, who left BSU to pursue a professional career in the KHL, as well as Zach Whitecloud, who a 2016-17 WCHA All-Rookie Team selection.
Prior to his current role at Bemidji State, Winter served as head coach and director of hockey operations with the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL. He took the reins of the Wings’ hockey program midway through the 2012-13 season and the 18 months since he took his first head coaching position, Winter directed Aberdeen to a 53-24-7 record (.676) and a trip to the NAHL Playoffs, marking just the second postseason appearance in the organization’s existence. In addition, eight Wings’ players have moved on to the USHL, while 18 have made commitments to play NCAA Division I ice hockey.
Prior to his time with the Wings, Winter spent parts of four seasons (2009-10 to 2012-13) serving as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the USHL, during which the RoughRiders posted a 122-67-25 (.629) record, four consecutive Clark Cup Playoff appearances and an Anderson Cup title and USHL Franchise of the Year Award in 2010-11. In Cedar Rapids, Winter coached 46 players who earned an opportunity to play Division I hockey and five were selected in the National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft.
Winter was also a volunteer coach at Saint Johns University (Minn.) in 2009 and served on the coaching staff of the USA Hockey 2010 Select 15 National Camp.
As a player, the St. Cloud, Minnesota native was a four-year letterwinner, accumulated 28 goals and 37 assists for 65 points in 118 games for the Beavers between 2005 and 2009. He earned First Team All-CHA accolades in 2006-07 and Second Team All-CHA at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season. In the classroom, Winter was a three-time Academic All-CHA pick and twice earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic Second Team All-District V accolades. As a Beaver, Winter was a member of a CHA Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament team in 2005-06, a CHA Regular Season Championship title team in 2007-08 and most notably, captain of a Bemidji State team that won the regular season title, the CHA Tournament, the NCAA Midwest Regional and made the program’s first NCAA Frozen Four appearance at the conclusion of the 2008-09 campaign.
Winter graduated from BSU in the spring of 2009 with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in entrepreneurship, management and marketing.
Winter replaces Bert Gilling, who left the program after 15 years to become head men’s hockey coach at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.