Canada West hockey coaching changes

Last week the Calgary Dinos sent hockey head coach Scott Atkinson packing after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 24 years. The season was a huge disappointment for the Dinos, with few highs and many lows.

The highlight of the Dinos season was a two game sweep of the Saskatchewan Huskies the last weekend of January, as they looked to have finally found their stride. That was not the case though, as the Dinos finished up the regular season with three straight losses to fall short in their push for the playoffs. Atkinson who compiled a record of 108-103-10 over eight seasons at the helm of the red and white was overshadowed by a 15-20 record in the post-season. Despite being praised for the academic success of players under Atkinson, that clearly was not enough for U of C athletic director Kevin Boyles.

Along with the changes in Calgary, Mike Sirant is officially returning to be the head coach of the Manitoba Bisons as anticipated and reported several weeks ago in a previous post. This leaves Don MacGillivray who was the head coach in an interim basis while Sirant was on his leave of absence in a position to pursue a CIS job with another Canada West job opening up. It will be interesting to see if MacGillivray decides to look at the Calgary option and if he is emerges as a serious candidate - he is a former Canada West coach of the year winner and would be a legitimate option for the Dinos.

Eric Thurston at the University of Alberta should have his 'interim' head coach tag removed sometime in the very near future assuring he will be at the helm for the Bears for years to come.

That leaves only Calgary unsettled behind the bench for the upcoming season, and a replacement should come relatively quickly before recruiting season really heats up with the end of major junior playoffs.
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  1. Manitoba having to bring bang Sirant at MacGillivray's expense is a down-grade.
    Sirant's teams were reknowned for lacking discipline.
    The Bisons had started to take a big step forward under MacGillivray.
    Calgary was reeling with Atkinson.
    There is no excuse for the Dinos not be at least a top four CW team every season; dead last is an utter embarassment!
    I doubt the Dinos would make the same mistake again and hire another over-rated coach out of the ACAC and bring in Ken Babey from SAIT.

  2. Why didn't Lakehead call MacGillivray? He knows Thunder Bay somewhat, he recruited a lot of kids out of there when he coached the Portage Terriers in the Manitoba Junior.

  3. Thunder Bay will regret their coaching decision the moment that team hits the ice. Mckee was not the answer in Tbay but the direction they took will be an utter embarasment when the nationals role around. They will be out performed by the likes of Alberta, Saskatchewan and UNB without question.