William "Butch" Johnson
Chairman of the Board
William “Butch” Johnson is serving as Chairman of the USHL’s Board of Governors for a second time after being appointed in June 2009. The owner of the Waterloo Black Hawks since 1997, Johnson at one time also guided USHL franchises in North Iowa, Cedar Rapids, and Topeka, along with an America West Hockey League team in Billings, Montana and an amateur baseball team in Waterloo. During his first term as Chairman from 1995-2004, he led the USHL’s transition to Tier I junior status. Subsequently, the league honored him with its Distinguished Service Award in 2007.
Before his involvement in the USHL, Johnson managed his family business, Johnson Timber in northwestern Wisconsin. He remains CEO of the firm, which produces wood for paper and other manufactured products and specializes in sustainable forestry. The timber business has grown to also include Flambeau River Papers, which Johnson helped save from bankruptcy in 2006. In addition, the Northwest Sports Complex and related businesses in Spooner, Wisconsin are among Johnson’s projects.
Almost perpetually active, Johnson is a former member of the Board of Directors for USA Hockey, former President of the Hayward, Wisconsin School Board, and at one time served on the Wisconsin Lottery Board, State Fair Park Board, and Wisconsin Racing Commission. Johnson and his wife Pat raised six children, including sons Derrick and Aaron who each played in the USHL.
Vice President of Business Operations
Joe Macdonell joined the USHL office in July 2010. His experience in the sports industry spans over 25 years, and covers the full array of team management functions including ticket sales, operations, and financial management. For the past three years, he has served as the Vice President of Business Operations for the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Homer Glen, Illinois native began his career in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets. He was a key member of the club's management team in the early 1990's when ticket sales surged under legendary NBA executive Jon Spoelstra. As Vice President of Ticket Operations for the Nets, Macdonell was one of the youngest vice presidents in the NBA. He also served as part of the senior management team that turned around the MLS's New York/New Jersey MetroStars, now known as the Red Bulls.
Macdonell earned an MBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame in 1985 while also holding a bachelor's degree in accounting from Seton Hall University.
Director of Game Operations, Referee-in-Chief
Scott Brand has been a part of the USHL for over 25 years and is responsible for the recruitment, supervision, development, and placement of officials in addition to overseeing USHL game operations. He also holds a similar role for the Southern Professional Hockey League.
His playing background includes holding the Central Junior Hockey League penalty minute record as well as an appearance in the 1985 USA Hockey Jr. B National Tournament. Brand, who came to the USHL in 1984 as an on-ice official, served as the USHL's Referee-In-Chief from 1990-92 and again on an interim basis for part of 1993-94 season. Brand was a junior hockey referee for ten seasons (1982-92), eight of which came in the USHL. His highlights include 4 USHL All-Star Games, 4 National Championships and 8 USHL Championship series. Brand also served as a professional hockey official from 1988-92 in the East Coast Hockey League and the International Hockey League.
Brand held general manager positions for the Waterloo Black Hawks and Dubuque Fighting Saints following his officiating career. He was also a founder and Vice President and General Manager of the Waterloo Bucks minor league baseball team. Brand resides in Woodbury, Minnesota.
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Brian Werger joined the USHL in April 2009 and he manages daily communication efforts with outreach to both regional and national media outlets in addition to overseeing the content of USHL.com and social media platforms.
Werger has spent more than 15 years in the hockey industry at both the team and league levels. He was the Assistant Director of Media Relations for the Pittsburgh Penguins for two seasons which included a trip to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals and 2008 Winter Classic. Prior to his time in the NHL, Werger worked in the office of the United Hockey League (UHL) coordinating the league’s media relations efforts from 2003-07. He first began his career in hockey with the Quad City Mallards of the UHL as the Director of Business Operations/Game Operations. Werger was a member of the staff for five seasons which included the team’s Colonial Cup championship in 2001.
The native of Keota, Iowa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management from St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA) and was a member of the men’s basketball team for three seasons, twice receiving Academic All-Conference honors. Werger resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development
Tony Gill joined the USHL in May 2009 and he coordinates the daily hockey operations activities of the league, directs USHL Player Development, and contributes to the overall marketing efforts of the USHL.
Gill is no stranger to the USHL having played two seasons for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2000-02) after enjoying a three-year prep career at Shattuck St. Mary’s. The forward played all 60 regular season games for the RoughRiders during the 2001-02 campaign recording 23 points (6g, 17a). He earned a scholarship to play hockey at the University of Notre Dame. Gill played 74 games during his four-year career for the Irish and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from the school. He has also coached AAA hockey in Chicago with the Team Illinois program.
The native of Rochester, Minnesota resides with his wife, Kelly, and daughter, Grace, in Chicago, Illinois.
Rick Comley, Jr.
Director of USHL Central Scouting
Rick Comley, Jr. joined the USHL in a full-time capacity in June 2010. He was instrumental in launching the USHL Player Development initiative to help identify and evaluate prospects of the USHL. As the League's top scout, he attends tournaments and events to evaluate young talent throughout the U.S., while also educating both players and parents about the opportunities available in the USHL. Comley also helps conduct the USHL Prospect Combines, a first of its kind player showcase of on-ice competition and off-ice testing for the League's future stars.
Comley served as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for the Musketeers for two seasons (2008-10). His USHL experience began in 2004-05 as a scout for the Waterloo Black Hawks. Comley scouted for the Des Moines Buccaneers the following season (2005-06), when the Bucs won the Clark Cup title. He then moved behind the bench in Des Moines to become an assistant coach for two seasons (2006-08).
Comley is a graduate of Michigan State University where he holds a bachelor's degree in history and earned a master's degree in sports administration. The native of Marquette, Michigan is a part of strong hockey bloodlines, as he is the son legendary college hockey coach Rick Comley, Sr.
Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations
Dave Siciliano rejoined the USHL in 2011, making a return to a league where he left his mark as one of the best coaches USHL history. He spent 15 seasons behind the bench and ranks second all-time in coaching victories (522), one of just three USHL coaches to reach the 500-win milestone.
Siciliano was the head coach of the Thunder Bay Flyers in the USHL for seven seasons (1986-93) compiling an impressive 249-77-10 record during that stretch. The club won more than 30 games in each of those seven seasons (the USHL played just a 48-game schedule at that time), including a pair of 40-win seasons. Siciliano led the Flyers to the Anderson Cup four times in a span of five seasons and won consecutive Clark Cup titles (1988, 1989). He was named the USHL Coach of the Year on three occasions while in Thunder Bay.
His second USHL coaching stint was eight seasons (2000-08) with the Sioux City Musketeers where he totaled a 273-260-44 record, becoming the club’s all-time winningest coach. Siciliano led the Musketeers to a 41-16-4 record during the 2001-02 regular season and went on to win the third Clark Cup title in team history. His USHL career winning percentage of .675 ranks fourth all-time in League history.
Siciliano resides in Thunder Bay, Ontario with his wife, Carol.
Manager of Communications and Public Relations
Everett Fitzhugh joined the USHL league office in December of 2012, and will be assisting in all efforts as they relate to media relations and the League’s social media efforts.
Fitzhugh spent the last three seasons as hockey play-by-play announcer for Bowling Green State University of the CCHA and has over 120 games of broadcasting experience to his credit. Prior to his time as play-by play announcer, he served as a primary color analyst for Bowling Green hockey for three seasons. He also worked in Bowling Green’s Athletic Communications department where he assisted in writing game recaps, compiling game notes, and conducting press conferences for a variety of sports.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Fitzhugh received his Bachelors Degree in Sports Management from Bowling Green State University in 2011. He currently resides in Chicago.