Wednesday the El Paso Rhinos announced the hiring of Corey Heon as the Rhinos’ new general manager.
Making the jump from a parent and volunteer to a general manager was prompted by the Canada native’s desire to expand El Paso’s only ice hockey program. “It’s a great opportunity to help the program grow into something bigger and better. I’ve always been a part of the organization in some way or another and it was time to make it official,” Heon said.
As the general manager, Heon’s goals are to simply improve an already successful program. More specifically, he hopes to help develop young hockey players and new coaches and in turn, give back to the community that made his final two years as a player so memorable.
Head Coach Cory Herman and General Manager Corey Heon have known each other for over 20 years, playing against each other in Midget and Collegiate Hockey and then later playing for the El Paso Buzzards. Heon has long been involved with the El Paso Hockey Association as a referee, coach and color commentator.
Overseeing game operations and coaching development for the Rhinos and the El Paso Hockey Association, Heon will add decades of hockey knowledge and management experience to the Rhinos’ front office staff.
Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Heon started playing hockey at the age of 4. His father, who played for the Notre Dame Hounds in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), wanted him to continue the tradition of playing hockey. The forward went on to play Midget AAA for the Calgary North Stars where he helped his team win the Air Canada Cup in 1992.
Additionally, he was named a First- Team Alberta Midget Hockey League All-Star and a First-Team All-Star at Mac’s Midget AAA Tournament. Between 1992 and 1995, Heon joined the Humboldt Broncos where he was named in League All-Star during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.
Heon then continued his hockey career at the collegiate level, playing two years for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) Trojans in Calgary, AB. During his second year of college hockey, SAIT earned the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) National Runner-up title in 1997.
Despite not clenching the championship title, Heon was the League’s top goal scorer and earned a spot on the First Team All-Conference. He then moved up to the semi- professional ranks in 1997 when he began playing for the El Paso Buzzards.
In the first of his two seasons with the Sun City’s hockey team, Heon and the Buzzards became the Inaugural Season Champions and President Cup Champions. After one more season with the Buzzards, Heon hung up his skates due to injuries and began working for the El Paso County Coliseum, overseeing Buzzard games.
In 2015, he was named the NMIIHL Coach of the year when the Franklin Cougars earned the NMIIHL State Championship title.
Heon currently coaches the Peewee Selects, the team on which his daughter Camryn plays.