Lloydminster, AB – The Lloydminster Bobcats are excited to announce the hiring of Brad Rihela as Head Coach. Rihela spent the last five seasons as Associate Head Coach & Assistant General Manager with the Chilliwack Chiefs in the British Columbia Hockey League.
Before his time with the Chiefs, Rihela was the Head Coach with the Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep team and was the Head Coach & General Manager of the Aldergrove Kodiaks in the Pacific Island Junior Hockey League. Rihela has experience as the Head Coach with elite programs. “We are very excited for Brad to be joining our organization, he is very motivated to succeed and help our players move on to the next level. His attention to detail, his connections, a history of player advancement to NCAA, and his understanding of the four pillars our organization is built on make him a perfect fit” stated Bobcats General Manager Nigel Dube.
The Lloydminster Bobcats will move into the 2023 – 24 season with a full coaching staff to focus on the players, development, team play, and advancement. “ This is a move we have been working on inside the organization. This staffing structure will allow Brad and staff to focus on the players 100% of the time daily. It has taken a lot to get to this point but we believe it is the next step in our program exceling to be an elite level in the AJHL” added Dube.
Rihela is excited to be joining the Bobcbats organization “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work in the Bobcats organization and the City of Lloydminster. My family and I are honoured to be a part of this great program and community!” stated new Head Coach Brad Rihela. It will be a quick turnaround in the off season before the Bobcats open training camp next month, but one Rihela is excited for. “When speaking with Nigel throughout the interview process it was evident that we share the same values and goals for our hockey club. We obviously want to work to improve our players and program on the ice, but nothing is more important to us than continuing to instill our culture that embraces respect, integrity, and community.”
The Bobcats coaching staff will be continuing to grow the product the Border City team has been putting on the ice in recent time. “I can guarantee that we are going to put a team on the ice that Lloydminster will be proud of. We will have extremely high standards in terms of work ethic, commitment, and accountability and we believe this will ultimately lead us to our goals of winning a Centennial Cup” finished Rihela.
Rihela has been recognized and awarded for his work advancing players to the next level.
“We will be able to move forward in our programming with minor and elite hockey using Rihela’s expertise in development with minor hockey and realizing his mentorship skills”, Dube continued. Highlights of Rihela coaching career include being the receipient of the 2023 PCAHA John Ptucha Memorial Coaching Development Award, 2018 RBC Cup Champion with the Chilliwack Chiefs, winning the prestigious John Reid Tournament, and being the PJHL Coach of the Year.
The Lloydminster Bobcats organization would like to welcome Rihela’s wife Natasha, and two boys Aidan and Axl to the Border City!