AUSTIN, MN – The Bruins have been one of the top NAHL organizations at moving players to the next level since they entered the league in 2010. That success has continued into the front office and on Wednesday they announced that Michael Keeley and Carl Vagle are both departing the organization for new opportunities to further their careers.
“Well this is definitely bitter sweet,” said Bruins owner Mike Cooper. “While I’m sad to see Carl and Mike go I’m also super excited for them and their new opportunities to advance their careers. I want to thank both those guys for all the hard work and countless hours they have put in. I know they will go on to do great things.”
Keeley, the three-year radio and HockeyTV voice of the Bruins, has accepted the position of Media Relations and Broadcast Manager with the ECHL’s Maine Mariners. Keeley also managed media relations and group sales in his time in Austin. He was hired in the Summer of 2015, coming from the NAHL’s Keystone Ice Miners.
“My time in Austin was critical in securing this job in professional hockey,” Keeley said. “The experience I gained here and the growth I was able to achieve set me up perfectly for this next step.”
Keeley was selected to broadcast the 2017 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Michigan and was also named the 2017 Northwoods League Play-By-Play Announcer of the Year for his role with the Rochester Honkers baseball team. He’s a native of Rochester, New York and a 2013 graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego.
“I wanted my next move to be somewhere back East,” Keeley said. “It will be nice to be within one day’s drive of my hometown and my family.”
The Maine Mariners relocated, under new ownership from Anchorage, Alaska, where they were previously known as the Aces. The 2018-19 season will be their first in Portland. Keeley becomes the second consecutive Bruins broadcaster to advance to the ECHL, joining John Peterson – currently the voice of the Tulsa Oilers and previously, the Evansville IceMen.
“I owe everything to Bruins owners Mike Cooper and Craig Patrick for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to thrive and develop into a more well-rounded professional and person,” Keeley said. “I also have to give a special thanks to my co-worker of the last two years and now good friend Carl Vagle for making the office a place I truly looked forward to coming to every day. To the fans of Austin as well as all my co-workers throughout these three years, you’ll always hold a special place in my heart.”
Carl Vagle, Director of Business Operations is also leaving the organization. He will be heading to the Twin Cities.
“Thank you to the entire Bruins organization. These past two seasons have really helped me grow professionally and personally,” Vagle said. “Thank you to Craig and Mike for taking a kid who just finished an internship with the Twins and turning him into a man.”
Carl joined the Bruins in October of 2016 after graduating from Minnesota-State Mankato in the fall of 2015 with a degree in Sport Management. In addition to overseeing business operations, Vagle was in charge of community relations, totaling over 1,100 hours of team-related community service in his two seasons. Carl also took the Bruins graphic design department to a new level, designing content for AustinBruins.com, social media channels, and even creating logos.
“Thank you to Mike Keeley for being not only a great co-worker, but a great friend as well” he added. “Thank you to Coach Howard and Coach Kelly. Thank you to the players who didn’t always make my job easy but definitely made it entertaining. Even though my time here is over I will always cherish the memories, thank you fans!”
The Bruins have already filled both front office positions, with announcements pending in the coming days. Bruins owner Craig Patrick re-emphasized the ladder of development as an organization-wide principle.
“The Bruins organization was founded on developing young talent on and off the ice, we are very proud of Michael and Carl as they take the next steps in their professional career.”