The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Tom Hamilton named new president of Iowa Heartlanders

Hamilton, a former store manager of a Coralville Hy-Vee, was announced as the second president in Iowa Heartlanders history on April 21.

Contributed.+

Contributed.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter


The Iowa Heartlanders announced Tom Hamilton as their next president on April 21. He will succeed Brian McKenna, who retired after leading the franchise through its inaugural season.

A former Coralville Hy-Vee store manager and Iowa City West High School alum, Hamilton had never worked in professional sports before taking the job with the Heartlanders.

As president, Hamilton oversees the Heartlanders’ daily front office operations. He started working for the Heartlanders a week before the press release regarding his appointment was published.

“The biggest interest to me was the fact that I could see what [the team] was doing for the community,” Hamilton told The Daily Iowan. “As the season went on, I could feel the excitement in the fans increase, and the community became more aware of who the Heartlanders were in hockey. I found myself in the same boat.”

When the Heartlanders approached Hamilton about the position, it was easy for him to decide if he wanted the role.

“When the opening was presented to me, I just evaluated where I could fit in being from here and having made a lot of friends over the years,” Hamilton said. “Like I said before, it just sounded exciting.”

Hamilton, who spent 33 years with Hy-Vee before retiring from the grocery store chain in 2018, was contacted about the position in mid-March. He met with people involved with the Heartlanders and found out about the role.

Hamilton told Glenn Stanford of Deacon Sports and Entertainment — the Heartlanders’ ownership group — on April 8 that he was committed to becoming the Heartlanders’ president.

RELATED: Iowa Heartlanders growing hockey in Johnson County

“We are excited to enter this second phase of growth with the Iowa Heartlanders by welcoming Tom to the Deacon Sports and Entertainment family,” said chair of Deacon Sports and Entertainment Dean MacDonald in a release. “Tom’s relationships with local businesses and partners throughout Eastern Iowa will be a tremendous asset as the Heartlanders build upon a tremendous first season in Coralville.”

Hamilton said he’s been impressed with the club’s front office personnel since taking over as president. He described his staff as loyal, energetic, and passionate about the Heartlanders.

The Heartlanders recorded the second-lowest attendance in the ECHL during the 2021-22 regular season with 1,961 spectators per game at Xtream Arena. Though the first game in club history hosted 4,017 fans, attendance dipped to an average of 1,686 in November and 1,707 in December.

The Heartlanders filled more seats in the final four months of the inaugural campaign, and their final home contest put 3,210 fans into the 5,100-capacity facility.

The organization has months to prep for the 2022-23 season, which begins in October. That is a longer time frame than the Heartlanders had before their inaugural season, as they were filling up their front office staff last summer while taking their first steps in Johnson County.

“Our biggest goal is to get more people in that arena and show them how exciting it can be,” Hamilton said. “Whether it’s their first experience or second season.”

About the Contributor
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Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

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Isaac Goffin is a Sports Reporter and Designer at The Daily Iowan covering the Iowa Heartlanders. He is...

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