Thunder introduce new head coach and GM

Mike Watt, Dan Jewell
Mike Watt (left) and Dan Jewell address the media Thursday as they’re introduced as the new head coach and general manager of the Bloomington Thunder. (WJBC Photo)

by Marc Strauss

BLOOMINGTON – The Bloomington Thunder introduced a new head coach and general manager on Thursday. Mike Watt takes over the bench after two years as one of the team’s assistants under Dennis Williams.

“It means a lot to myself and my family. It’s a very important position and my family and I are grateful that they’ve shown the confidence that I can step up into this position,” said Watt.

Watt hopes to take Bloomington to the next phase of development as a USHL expansion franchise. Last season the Thunder finished with a record of 25-27-5-3, good for 58 points, but missed the playoffs.

The team also elevated Dan Jewell to the dual post of general manager and associate coach. Jewell’s chief responsibility will be scouting and roster construction. Next season will be his fourth with Bloomington. He called his promotion a natural progression of duties.

“It’s grown gradually and, being the assistant GM this past year, now taking over as general manager seems natural in a sense,” said Jewell.

Both men stressed the importance of the franchise becoming more visible in the community and complimented the Coliseum facility as one of the best in the league.


Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…

Reactions to the “A Community in Conflict” exhibit

By Mike Matejka Every community has its home-town pride; Bloomington-Normal is proud to claim Steak n’ Shake and MASH TV star McLean Stevenson.  We’ve also had a moment of contention and conflict.  Sometimes these are uplifting stories of human progress. At other times, they cause us to shake our heads and wonder why. The McLean…