SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tony Gasparini took over as the Stampede’s new General Manager in late May, and a month later, Gasparini and company named Rob Rassey as the Herd’s newest head coach. The club is looking to get back to the Clark Cup Playoffs after missing them in each of the past two seasons.

Rob Rassey is the 9th Head Coach in Stampede history.

“For me it was just something where the kind of visions of what they’re trying to build in Sioux Falls aligns with exactly with kind of who I am and what I represent as a coach,” Rassey said.

While Rassey is new to Sioux Falls, there’s some familiarity with him and Stampede General Manager Tony Gasparini.

“Tony actually when he was coaching in Sioux Falls, came to a practice I was at back when I was playing Midget hockey. So we actually go back a long ways. I don’t think he remembered me, I think he remembered a few other guys out of that practice,” Rassey said.

Rassey got his first head coaching experience last year when he took over Omaha midway through the season.

“For me it was a great experience for me being able to go in a short period of time and get to know the guys and establish relationships, and kind of establish trust and start to build the first steps of a winning culture,” Rassey said.

Rassey spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Harvard, along with stints with both Youngstown and Tri-City in the USHL. That experience, combined with his time as a scout for the Red Wings should help with evaluating future prospects.

“Understanding what makes a successful USHL player. Understanding those intangibles and having as good of a feel for that as possible is incredibly valuable for any coach,” Rassey said.

The tradition, support and success of the Stampede are what drew Rassey to Sioux Falls, and he’s looking to add to that legacy.

“The organization has had a ton of success over the years. I know Tony and myself are going to work hard and build on that transition,” Rassey said.

Rassey says he’ll spend the next few weeks finding a place to live in Sioux Falls while also getting to know the players that will be coming to the Stampede’s 40-man camp at the end of July.