Varsity Head Coach
Coach Pankratz is a Bloomington, Minnesota native and has a long list of championship experience as a player. Growing up in Bloomington, Pankratz was a member of Bloomington Jefferson’s PeeWee A, Bantam A, and High School State Championship Teams. At 16 years old, he moved on to the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, where he was named Rookie of the Year and All-Star team member in 1992-1993. During the 1992-1993 season, Pankratz helped the Lancers to the Anderson and Clark Cup Championships. Pankratz also represented his country as a member of the USA Hockey’s National Under-18 and Under-17 teams and played in the National Olympic Festival held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Joe played college hockey at The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers before joining the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. He then moved on to play professionally in Germany where he finished his career with EV Landsberg of the German Bundesliga.
Coach Pankratz is entering his 10th season behind the bench for the Prior Lake Lakers Varsity hockey team. Joe started his coaching career as an Assistant Bantam A Coach for Bloomington Jefferson in 1999. He moved on to serve as Head Coach of the Florida Jr. Panthers Midget Team from 2001-2006, then began at Prior Lake as the Peewee A Head Coach from 2007-2009.
Beginning his HS coaching tenure, Coach Pankratz and his staff went from humble beginnings in the Missota Conference and transitioned to the competitive South Suburban Conference. Over time, and a firm commitment to the youth program, Joe and his staff have helped build the Lakers program from a quarterfinal warm up opponent to a state power. In the last 4 years they have claimed 2 Conference Championships, 1 Section Final, and are still chasing the high school programs first birth in the State Tournament.
Joe and his wife, Shannon, have lived in Prior Lake since 2007. They have one son named Ryder, and a dog named Diesel.