Calgary, AB – The Calgary Mustangs are excited to announce the hirings of Alex Mandolidis, Josh Watson and Richie Hubbell as part of their 2018-19 coaching staff.
Alex and Josh both join the Mustangs after several years in the Alberta Midget AAA ranks; Josh has most recently been part of the coaching staff for the Calgary Buffaloes Midget AAA club, while Alex has spent the past 5 seasons in various roles as head coach or assistant with the AAA Flames and AAA Northstars associations. Richie Hubbell has most recently been with Olds College as goalie coach of their ACAC Women's Hockey team while running his own performance clinics.
"As a coach, I see myself as a player's coach as well as a strong systems coach, I am able to talk to the players and give them insight that they might have missed," responds new assistant Josh Watson when asked to comment on his brand of coaching. "Coaching is about helping players find the best in themselves and refining existing skills and talents while introducing and developing new skill sets that will help them move forward."
"My goal as a coach is to not only help our athletes grow as hockey players but also grow as men; since many of the skills that they will learn in hockey will help them in other aspects of life."
"I'm excited to work alongside our new coaches Alex, Josh and Richie who will be joining Matt and myself this season," comments newly-extended Head Coach and GM Tyler Drader. "Everyone brings their own skillset and personality to the group, which I believe will be a huge asset to the organization."
""Clarkey" has pro hockey experience as a player and brings a wealth of knowledge; his primary focus is on skill development. "Mando" is a very experienced coach, strong tactically and builds great relationships with the players. Watson has also been coaching a while now and his major focus wil be around video. Richie was brought in as a full time goalie coach that will work with our goalies on and off the ice to help their growth."
"I'm fortunate to be able to work with good people and that's the most important thing."
"Moving from Midget up to Junior is an exciting jump, I am looking forward to the faster speed and better overall skill," concludes Watson. "Coming to the Mustangs now after they had a great season last year is also exciting as I am hoping to help the team keep trending upwards and have a great year."
With the large majority of the Hockey Operations staff now in place, President of the Board Darryl Robinson was asked to weigh in on the executive team's expectations for the upcoming season.
"Last season we set a goal of 20 wins coming off an 8 win season, and most people thought we were crazy. Not only did we achieve that goal, but we surpassed it with a 24 win season," elaborates Darryl. "This opened the eyes of a lot of people in the league, showed that we were serious, and made our recruiting a lot easier."
"We feel we will have a very competitive team this season, but we also need to make sure and temper our expectations and not put added pressure on the players and coaching staff. We feel that we will continue to improve, but we also know that it is a new season and that teams in the league will be better. By being better on our end it gives us a better chance of moving our players on to the next level."