Team will move forward with Stothers and O'Leary
The Moose Jaw Warriors will be without the longest-serving member of their coaching staff when they hit the ice next season.
Moose Jaw Warriors
Assistant coach Mike Vandenberghe has decided to take some time away from the game as he dedicates himself to his business interests.
"I decided to slow down a little bit and take some time to re-evaluate what I'm going to be doing," said Vandenberghe who is a partner in The Team Redgoat Training Centre. "With my business interest it's going to keep me going. I thought it was a good time to re-evaluate where I'm at."
Vandenberghe joined the Warriors staff in the middle of the 2010-11 season. He had been an assistant coach with Brandon — where he had played his junior hockey — for the first half of the season while Wheat Kings assistant Dwayne Gylywoychuk recovered from a back injury.
"We'll miss Vandy. That's been an enjoyable experience for me and him. It's hard to believe that three guys in that small of a room can cohabitate as well as we did," Warriors head coach Mike Stothers said with a smile in reference to the cramped Warriors coaches office. "He's moving on to some bigger and better things for him."
Vandenberghe was balancing his business interests and the hectic life of a WHL coach. He said there are new things on the horizon for Redgoat which made the timing right for a change.
"I'm going to have a few new programs with Redgoat that we're going to be launching here pretty soon," he said. "There's a couple of things that are going to take up a lot of time. (Stothers and GM Alan Millar) were really good while I was here and gave me the ability to keep my interests. I've always had business interests and the way it was going it was starting to take up a lot of time so I didn't think it was fair on that side of it."
Vandenberghe said his passion for coaching hasn't changed and he feels his work will continue to fulfill that role.
"I don't think the coaching bug ever goes away. I'll be doing some stuff that is going to be similar to what I do now," said Vandenberghe. "It's just not going to be as intense as working in the Western Hockey League. I don't think people understand how much time coaches in the Western Hockey League put in with all of the travel. You have to have a 100 per cent clear mind to do it. Right now I need some time to regenerate.
"I wasn't coaching for the money, obviously, I was coaching because I liked working with the players. In my new ventures I get to work with people just the same way. There's satisfaction there."
Millar said that Mark O'Leary will be promoted to our top assistant coach and that for the time being the Warriors will move forward with a two-man system for their coaching staff.
"It's a matter of a little time management," said Stothers. "As a head coach you delegate some of the responsibility. It will just be Mark and I making sure we have all of our bases covered. It certainly can be done."
New Warriors head trainer/athletic therapist Brooke Kosolofski has a background in strength training and condition and some of those duties are expected to fall onto his plate after O'Leary handled a lot of those responsibilities this season. Warriors manager communications/hockey administration James Gallo will also help with some of the administrative duties that need to be taken care of.
"We're going to get some help from James and the front office in terms of scheduling our road trips, hotels, the meals and some of the time consuming things like that," said Stothers. "I think it will be fine."