Our Panel

Wes Walz  was born in Calgary Alberta.  He was drafted in the 1989 NHL draft by the Boston Bruins and subsequently played in Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit, and eventually made his way to the Minnesota Wild in 2000 where he played until Dec 2007.  At Minnesota he became one of the league’s best defensive forwards and considered by many as one of the league’s premier ironmen. He also was an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightening from 2008-2010.  He currently is a sports analyst on Fox Sports North for the Minnesota Wild.  He lives in Woodbury and has been assistant hockey coach for the East Ridge Raptors.

Steve Johnson was born in Chicago.  After playing football in high school and at Bethel College he began coaching at St Cloud State, UofM, and Montana State before coming to Bethel University as head coach in 1989. Under Johnson’s leadership, Bethel’s football program has risen to national prominence and has become a perennial contender for the MIAC championship.  Under Coach Johnson, Bethel has won 5 MIAC championships and had 24 consecutive non-losing seasons.  He has been a 6 time MIAC Coach of the Year and is a 2016 Inductee into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.  He is a frequent speaker at Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) huddles and camps including the Minnesota Vikings FCA Football Camp and at Minnesota Teen Challenge.  Has taught a Bethel class during J-term called “The Band of Brothers” which follows the steps of World War II 101st Airborne through Europe.

Bill Butters began his professional hockey career with the Toronto Maple Leafs and also played for the Minnesota North Stars and Edmonton Oilers.  Upon retiring from professional hockey he coached at Breck High School, the UofM and Bethel College and White Bear Lake High School.  He started with Hockey Ministries International and has been with them over 20 years (with a two year break as a coach at Univ of Wisconsin).  He is an ordained minister and has chapels with both professional teams/players and Division 1 teams/players.  He also performs wedding ceremonies and pre-marriage counseling along with mentoring/counseling men in one-on-one or small groups.  He lives in White Bear Lake