Calgary, AB – The Calgary Mustangs are extremely pleased to officially announce the contract extensions of AJHL Coach of the Year finalist Tyler Drader and assistant coach Matt Clarke. The extensions take place immediately and will run through the 2018-19 AJHL season.
"We are extremely happy to be able to bring both Tyler Drader and Matt Clarke back for another year. Our tremendous turnaround last season was a testament to the patience, perseverance and coaching ability of both Tyler and Matt," says newly named President of the Board Darryl Robinson. "The two of them are perfect examples of being "a player's coach", proving that when you give players respect, you will get back respect from them. This relationship with his players also garnered Tyler runner up in Coach of the Year voting as a first year coach."
"We have a great group of people here, it's fun coming to the rink every day, we're a family," elaborates Tyler, who will enter his second full season with the team. "The players are coachable and are team-first guys, which makes my job easy."
"Our coaching staff gets along well, we are friends that are like-minded. It's fun discussing new ideas regarding systems, tactics, etc. and how to handle certain situations. We have so many good volunteers that put in a lot of work behind the scenes that allow our players to be successful."
"I'm just grateful to work with good people, that's very important to me."
"I wanted to stay because I don't think our job is done here. I wanted to continue being part of this team's progression," adds Matt Clarke, also returning for a second full season behind the bench. "I love coaching with Tyler and learning from him and I want to win!"
The Mustangs would also like to announce the returns of Kate Exley and Evan Li for the 2018-19 season. Kate, the team's athletic therapist since 2017, will continue to provide support for Tyler and Matt in her role as athletic therapist. Evan, previously the team's intern, has been moved into a new position as Manager of Communications, Media and Statistics for the club.
"Kate Exley, in my opinion is one of the best athletic therapists in the AJHL. Her knowledge of her trade combined with her compassion for our players and love of the game make her a tremendous asset to the Calgary Mustangs," comments Robinson. "She is the one that Tyler leans on heavily to make the call on whether a player is in or out of the lineup due to injury, but also works intensely with those players to get them back to game shape after injuries quicker than anyone else I know."
"Evan came to us in the fall of 2017-2018 just looking to get some experience working in the game that he loves. It quickly became apparent that he was able to be more than a volunteer, that his passion for analytics and video breakdown of game action was something that would be a huge benefit to Tyler and his coaching staff. He has also helped undertaken the task of working to move our players on to the NCAA level."