Hockey staff hirings highlighted by return of Kyle Tapp

With spring camp just over two weeks away, head coach and general manager Garry VanHereweghe announced his hockey staff for the upcoming Jr. ‘A’ Bobcats 2013-14 season on Thursday afternoon.

The biggest news of the day was the announcement that Kyle Tapp would once again be returning to the team as assistant coach and assistant general manager. Kyle has been an assistant coach with the Bobcats for the past two seasons, and stepped in as interim coach for the last 20 regular season games of the 2012-13 season after the team let go of head coach Ryan Parent.

“The Bobcats organization takes another strong step forward by securing Kyle Tapp to our coaching staff,” said Garry. “Not only does Kyle maintain continuity within the coaching staff, he is also a proven leader in the development of young players to help them reach their goals in both hockey and life.”

Before joining the Bobcats at the beginning of the 2011-12 season, Kyle was the head coach of the Baker Hughes Midget AAA Bobcats for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, and previously coached as an assistant coach for two years in the AJHL with the Olds Grizzlys. In 2011-12, Kyle was part of the Bobcats coaching staff that earned the AJHL Coach of the Year league award.

Kyle was an associate coach with Team Alberta at the 2012 Challenge Cup, where the team earned a silver medal, and was head coach of the Northeast zone that won the gold medal at the Alberta Cup in the same year.

Garry also announced that former captain Kris Wiebe, who helped the team throughout the 2012-13 season in an assistant coaching role, will remain with the organization as an assistant coach. Kris, who was born and raised in Lloydminster, played for the Bobcats from 1997-2001 before going on to play for the Niagara Purple Eagles (Div. I) and is second in the Bobcats’ all-time games played record books. After finishing university, Kris spent four years playing semi-professional hockey in the Central Hockey League.

“Kris is a very welcome addition to the Bobcats coaching staff,” said Garry. “As an alumni, Kris brings character and a tremendous amount of playing experience to the team, which will provide a great learning experience to the players. Kris is tremendously respected by the returning Bobcats players and will be welcomed by all.”

Scott Lumbard will once again be back as the team’s education advisor. Scott was very successful in securing scholarships for the team in 2011-12, committing twelve players off the roster to post-secondary hockey programs including four players to Div. I programs (Josh Atkinson – University of Fairbanks Alaska, Tyler Briggs – Clarkson University, Michael King – Colorado College, Izaak Berglund – Merrimack College). Both graduating players off the 2012-13 roster look to be headed to post-secondary hockey programs (Dustin Lebrun, Chase Martin).

“The Bobcats organization is focused on combining hockey excellence with academic success to get players to the next level,” said Garry. “Scott will play an important role in supporting the players in achieving their educational goals. Scott has a proven background in securing NCAA, CIS, and ACAC opportunities for graduated Bobcats players.”

With the help of newly-promoted Director of Player Personnel/Head Scout Barry Sawchuk, Garry has also hired six scouts to assist with player recruitment. Darryl Robinson and Bryce McDougall will cover southern Alberta, with Jason Wiwad and John Dunphy covering northern Alberta while Jason Petrie covers central Alberta. Dave Chapman will cover the province of Saskatchewan.

“We now have a well-rounded core of scouts throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan, and look forward to their assistance in identifying future Bobcats players under the direction and leadership of Barry Sawchuk,” said Garry.

The addition of these strong hockey minds puts the Jr. A Bobcats in favourable position heading into the 2013-14 off-season.

For any further information please contact Head Coach & General Manager Garry VanHereweghe at (780) 871-0900.