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High School Sports Rally

2 Coaches, 1 Winning Style At St. Thomas Academy

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(credit: CBS) Mike Max
Mike Max returned to WCCO-TV as a sports reporter and anchor in Apr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ten years ago, two brothers — Tom and Greg Vannelli — took over as coaches of the St. Thomas Academy hockey team.

“It was more about, ‘Lets get back to a program that’s a nice institution like St. Thomas,'” Greg said. “And the winning just happened to evolve with it.”

They’ve won their share — side by side to state titles.

“We’ve been pretty close our whole life,” Tom said. “We’re Irish twins. It’s easy to get a feel for each other.”

They are winning again this season.

Tom is the product of a coach who he admires — a demanding man named Herb Brooks. Tom played for him with the Gophers and the lessons have not been lost to this day.

“I think the passion … and trying to think outside the box,” Tom said. “I don’t think we’ve been satisfied after any year, not thinking that we couldn’t do it better.”

And it appears like they’re not done winning.

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