The Creston Valley Thunder Cats are pleased to announce the hiring of their new Head Coach and General Manager for the 2018-2019 season. Nick Redding of Spokane, Washington will be taking of the reins of the team after a search began for a new head coach a little over a week ago. Nick is leaving his position as Hockey Operations Coordinator with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL to join the team.
“It is amazing how much interest we received in the position in a very short period of time. Within 24 hours of the announcement of Head Coach Brad Tobin leaving we received incredible interest in the position by a vast array of candidates.”
The Thunder Cats have had success in their hiring and look forward to continuing the tradition of developing coaches in their career paths. “The last 5 head coaches have moved on to higher positions in Junior A or higher. “Our success of finding young, educated and community-minded coaches are key ingredients for what we look for. They work hard for the team to build their resumes looking for opportunities to move onto higher levels. Nick is exactly that kind of individual.” Moore added.
Since the departure of Head Coach Joe Martin in 2011 for the BCHL Merritt Centennials, Moore has been involved in hiring the last 4 coaches, all of which achieving careers at higher levels of hockey. Brent Heaven moved onto the Trail Smoke Eaters in 2012 and is currently the Head Coach of the Selkirk Saints. Heaven’s replacement Josh Hepditch left the team in 2014 for the Amherst Wranglers in the MJHL and is now an assistant coach in Major Jr. Hockey’s Moncton Wildcats, followed by Jeff Dubois who is with the Port Alberti Bulldogs in the BCHL. Most recently Head Coach Brad Tobin is off to the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL with aspirations to become an NHL scout in the future.
“Our hockey program is designed to not only develop young hockey players but those who coach the game as well,” Moore says. “Everyone needs to start somewhere and the KIJHL is a great league to get started in”. Moore pointed out former NHL coach and current Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney started his coaching career in the KIJHL.
In the past few years, the team attempts to secure good assistant coaches to take over for when the head coach leaves, which is how Head Coach Brad Tobin acquired the position.
Redding joins the team after being an assistant coach with the Spokane Braves for five years and a stint with the Seattle Thunderbirds. With a Masters Degree in Sport and Athletic Administration, Bachelor Degree in Recreation Management and an Associate Degree in Business Administration, Redding will be well suited to become the General Manager overseeing the day to day business aspect of the hockey team. His current work in Seattle was more on the management side, but his main interest was in coaching.
“Nick’s name came up to us through others involved in hockey and that he would be great in coaching and operating the team,” Moore recalled. “I had someone reach out to Nick on our behalf to discuss whether our position would be a consideration for him. Everything developed from there very quickly. Everyone in hockey I mention his name to came back with great reviews of his time in Spokane and his genuine sincerity as a person.”
While Moore noted there were a number of interested people who carried various qualifications, it was the post-secondary education, experience, and enthusiasm that had Redding rise above other candidates. “Our business has little room for error on the ice and on the business side. We can’t take chances when someone hasn’t demonstrated competency toward the intricacy of operating a junior hockey team. Winning hockey games is great, but we need a sustainable business model. We don’t have a sustainable business model if we don’t win hockey games. Finding a candidate who understands how to achieve both can be challenging.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Moore confirmed that the intention is to have Redding at the helm for at least two years. Moore noted that Redding is a US citizen which may take a few extra days to secure the appropriate work permits. In the meantime, former Fernie Ghostriders coach Craig Mohr will guide the team through the first few games of the regular season as an interim coach. “Craig Mohr is a great individual and great coach. He offered during this process to step up and provide us with a qualified and experienced junior hockey coach on the bench to start the season to allow us time to get Nick here.”
The Creston Valley Thunder Cats hope to have Head Coach Nick Redding on the bench in time for the home opener on September 14, where the team plays host to the Fernie Ghostriders.