Hockey Operations


Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations- Damon Hanson

Damon is entering his 4th season behind the Helena bench as the Bighorns Head Coach.  Damon grew up in Seattle Washington playing his youth hockey for the Washington Evergreens.  He was a WHL draft pick of the Canadian Hockey Leagues Medicine Hat Tigers. 

Damon decided to start his 5-year Junior hockey playing career with the Helena Bighorns where he spent three successful seasons.  In those three seasons, Damon had a big impact in which the Bighorns won three league titles and made three national appearances.  Damon finished his junior career playing two seasons with the Missoula Maulers.  As he moved on from playing to coaching, it was only fitting that he began his coaching career where he started playing Junior Hockey, Helena Montana.  Damon spent his first two and a half years as an assistant coach and took over the reins as Head Coach in December 2020. 

Damon and his fiancé Casarah reside in Helena year-round with their two sons, Jaylen and James.



Associate Head Coach- Alex North


Alex North, a native of Faribault, Minnesota, has accepted the role of Associate Head Coach & Director of Player Personnel with the Helena Bighorns for the 2023-2024 season.  
Coach North brings NA3HL and NAHL coaching experience.  Previously, he was the Head Coach and General Manager of the New Ulm Steel (NA3HL) for the 2022-2023 season.  North took over the Head Coach & General Manager role in January of 2022; where he immediately began to instill change in the organization.  North went on to take the Steel from early playoff elimination, to fighting for a playoff spot on the last weekend of the 2022-2023 regular season- in arguably one of the toughest divisions in the NA3HL. North was also an Assistant Coach with the North Iowa Bulls and the Lacrosse Freeze, both of the NA3HL.  He then was promoted to the Assistant Coach role for the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL.  
North played high school hockey at Shattuck St Mary’s in Faribault, MN.  His junior career started with the Bismarck Bobcats and the Alaska Avalanche of the NAHL, then finished with the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL).  North attended Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, MN (MIAC) where he graduated with a degree in Sport Management in 2013 and that is where he met his wife, Eliza.  Alex and Eliza “look forward to moving to Helena and getting to know all the great Bighorn fans!”


Goalie Coach- Brandon Vonada


Brandon grew up in Helena and started playing hockey soon after the Helena Ice Arena opened in 1994. From the beginning Brandon always wanted to be a goalie and after trying all the positions he settled in as a goalie and has never regretted that decision.

Brandon has been coaching for over 15 years at all levels including at the Junior A level. This will be Brandon’s 7th season as the Goalie Coach for the Bighorns and he brings an unmatched passion for coaching goaltenders and is a big part of our team. Our goalies are fortunate to have a dedicated goalie coach and especially one that loves being at the rink every day and a coach that works extremely hard to make them better. Whether its video, one on one instruction or just that person to talk with, Brandon is always there for the players.

Brandon, his wife Trista and their two children, Lowek and Liviana reside in Helena year-round.