Coaching Staff


Mark Carlson

Co-President, Head Coach and General Manager

Mark Carlson has been the RoughRiders' Head Coach and General Manager since the team arrived in Cedar Rapids.  The RoughRiders won the Clark Cup in 2004-05 and the Anderson Cup three times in 2004-05, 2010-11 and 2015-16.  Carlson was also named the USHL Coach of the Year in 2004-05, 2010-11 and 2015-16. Carlson also earned his 500th USHL victory in 2014-15.

Carlson has had the honor of serving as head coach for Team USA during the 2008 and 2009 World Junior A Challenge.  Both years, Team USA won the Gold Medal.  In 2009, Carlson was also recognized as the United States Olympic Committee Development Coach of the Year.

Over (300) players who have skated for Carlson have received Division I scholarships, (32) have been selected in the National Hockey League Draft, (35) have signed NHL contracts, over (100) are developing in the minor leagues and (15) have made their NHL debuts.

In 2012, Mark expanded his resposibilities within the RoughRider Hockey Club to become President of the USHL Cedar Rapids RoughRiders while retaining his role as the only Head Coach and General Manager in the history of the RoughRider franchise.   

Carlson also oversees the coordination of coaching activities within the RoughRider Hockey Club as it has added affiliate relationships with the Cedar Rapids Youth Hockey Association, Cedar Rapids High School RoughRiders, Rocky Mountain AAA RoughRiders of the East Coast Elite League, the Connecticut Oilers of the Eastern Hockey League and the Topeka RoadRunners of the North American Hockey League.      

A native of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Carlson graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. While at Lowell, Carlson skated as a forward with the River Hawks. His on-ice talent was recognized even before he arrived in Lowell when he was selected in the 1987 National Hockey League draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After graduating from UML, Carlson spent one season as an assistant coach at Lawrenceville School before returning to Lowell to serve as an assistant to head coach Bruce Crowder. After helping the River Hawks to a berth in the 1996 NCAA tournament, Carlson spent another three seasons beside Crowder as an assistant at Northeastern University in Boston, where he also acted as recruiting coordinator. He earned a master's degree in education from N.U.

Carlson and his wife Tammy currently live in Ely with sons Dustin and Brayton.


Ben Kinne - Assistant Coach & Director of Scouting

KInne joined the RoughRiders staff early during the 2016-2017 campaign.  From 2014-2016 he was an Assistant Coach for Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.  He helped guide Saint Mary's to its first winning season since 2003-2004.  Saint Mary's had a record of 24-24-2 during his two seasons as Assistant Coach.  Kinne played four seasons of Division 1 College Hockey at Bemidji State (MN) where he was a two-time captain and three-time WCHA All-Academic.  In his four seasons with Bemidji State he compiled 32 goals and 44 assists.  Additionally, he played in two NCAA National Championship Tournaments, making the Frozen Four during the 2008-2009 season.  

Prior to his time at Bemidji State, Kinne played one season with the Santa Fe Roadrunners of the NAHL where he recorded 37 points (20g, 17a) in 59 games.  He also skated for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL for one season, tallying 43 points (17g, 26a) in 60 games.  

Kinne graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall in 2006.  He earned All State Honorable mention honors while helping lead the Raiders to the MInnesota State High School League state title in his season season.  Kinne and his wife Bri live in Ely.  



Chris Ipson, MA, ATC, LAT, ASCM

Certified Athletic Trainer and Equipment Manager

Chris Ipson joined the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders as part of the St. Luke's Hospital Sports Medicine team in August 2011. He spent the last 23 years with Michigan Tech University after spending the previous four years as Head Athletic Trainer for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. All together, Ipson has spent the last 32 years working Division I and professional ice hockey. Chris has also worked on five occasions covering teams for USA Hockey, traveling throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Ipson is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and an instructor for the American Heart Association.



Janelle Banowetz

Housing Coordinator

Janelle is the RoughRiders' Housing Coordinator.  She is responsible for seeking living accommodations  that meet both the players needs and match the profile of a family in the local Cedar Rapids area.  She will act as a liason with Washington & Linn Mar High Schools for the RoughRiders student players.  The RoughRiders housing program is committed to a mutually beneficial experience for both the athlete and the host family.  Athletes range in age from 16-20 years old and come from all over North America and other countries to become part of one of the finest junior hockey programs in the country.The USHL experience begins in the home of the housing families.


In addition to her housing responsibilities, Banowetz works part-time for Banowetz Consulting, where she is the Office Manager.  Janelle and her husband Doug have two sons.  Bryan who is currently attending Luther College and Nick at home.  The Banowetz family have been housing RoughRiders since the 2009 season.


Housing Family Requirements

  • Desire to support the Roughrider's Program
  • Live within a reasonable distance to The Stable
  • Demonstrate well-balanced, family-oriented lifestyle
  • Provide physically comfortable and mentally supportive and nurturing environment for our hockey players.

Housing Family Benefits

  • A monthly housing stipend to help offset costs
  • Two free season tickets and two additional tickets for household members at 50% off
  • Merchandise discount
  • A great opportunity to build a life-long relationship and help a young person realize their dreams

If you are interested in possibly housing a RoughRider, please contact Janelle Banowetz at 319-533-5345 or by e-mail at . 

Latest Videos From RiderVision
Ridertown USA Powered by Metro StudiosRiderwear Logos