Melfort Mustangs play-by-play man, Darryl Skender reported just a few minutes ago that now former Ice Wolves Assistant Coach Gavin Holcomb is the new Head Coach for the Melfort Mustangs.
First off, congratulations to Gavin. His has time definitely come, which was very evident after the glowing comments made by players and Head Coach Bob Beatty about the new Mustangs bench boss at the Ice Wolves Banquet. I had my suspicions after the banquet when I reflected on how he was talked about in the speeches on the night. I just got the sense that people were saying their thank you's for his time with the team.
It was a successful time in La Ronge with back to back championships as Coach Beatty and Holcomb worked together to build the Ice Wolves into a power in the SJHL. Coach Holcomb places a strong emphasis on conditioning so you can expect Melfort to be a very fit team next season.
It's tough for the Ice Wolves to lose the services of this young and talented coach, but what an excellent opportunity for him. The team is in an overall rebuild, including the board, so it's the perfect time for a young coach with a pretty good track record to step in. It's sure to be an exciting time in Melfort.
So the trend also continues of Bob Beatty not just helping along players, but coaches as well. Two SJHL Head Coaches (Holcomb, Dean Brockman) served with Coach Beatty as assistant coaches. Not too shabby if you ask me, he knows how to pick his assistants for sure. We were talking about the news at the station, and Kelly says this is the first time an Ice Wolves assistant has gone straight to a head coaching position with another team.
While the Mustangs have filled their job opening, it creates one for the Ice Wolves. La Ronge will be in search of a new Assistant Coach for next season. The front runner in my eyes, and many around town is Scott Haggarty. He was behind the Ice Wolves bench a bunch on home ice and on the road late in the season. He was a great player in the SJHL and isn't too far removed from his playing days, giving him that connection to the players. Another option with Ice Wolves connections is Ochapowace Thunder Head Coach, Ron Holloway. He was with the Ice Wolves as a trainer during the Anavet Cup and last year's RBC run. However, Coach Holloway has a good gig going with the Thunder and calls Southern Saskatchewan home so that's more unlikely.
I'm sure the Ice Wolves will look at their options and we'll eagerly await who will step in to fill the void left by Gavin moving on.
Good luck in Melfort, Gavin!