Year after year, head coach Cory Herman and his coaching staff put together competitive and talented teams. Pierre Luc-Racette, the Director of Recruiting, is one of the best assets of the Rhinos franchise and front office staff. With his help, players from across the globe travel to El Paso and represent the Sun City in the Western States Hockey League.
In 2007, Racette began his coaching and management career as video coach and scout for the Le Saint-François de Sherbrooke of the Ligue Nord Américaine de Hockey. A year later, he moved to the Isothermic de Thetford-Mines before coaching and managing several teams in California and Alberta in 2010.
Three years later, an interaction with Herman earned him the title of Director of Recruiting. Clinching the Thorne Cup and National Championships proved that Racette was a great addition to the organization. “I think the Rhinos have their own identity. Our program has been established for a while and improved again this past season. We have a serious and well-structured organization. One thing I know, the Rhinos have success because we are working hard and we are dedicated on and off the ice.\’\’
Looking to continue the franchise’s habit of winning, Racette’s methods of compiling a team is a process of finding the best fit. “I do not recruit in any specific way. I am always looking for the best player who could fill the team’s needs.” He adds, “The key word is chemistry. You can have all the best individuals but we are playing a team game.”
However, he does have a specific starting point. “Composing a team is like building a house– you start with the foundation. It\’s a cliché but a good netminder is essential to win games. Then a good ‘d-core’ will protect our lead.”
In addition to structural components of a roster, there’s more to a successful team than skill. For Racette, the most notable quality a player can have is honesty. “If you are not honest you can\’t work hard and be dedicated like you should be.” Not looking for “fireworks,” he wants to be impressed by the “human being,” namely their dedication, work ethic, accountability, passion and fun. “That\’s contagious,” he notes.
Dedicating all of his success to his mother who passed away in 2012, Pierre is eager to begin the new season. “I do believe we recruited the right players this year to create a great mix. I am confident with the decision we made. I can\’t wait for the puck to drop. Our fans will have a great surprise with our new players from all around Europe and North America!”