For the upcoming season, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats have named Brandon Switzer as the new coach and general manager.
“He relates to the players, the board, and the community really well and communicates effectively, which is important,” said President Larry Binks.
“He has a vision of where he’d like to see the team go and how to get there. We’re optimistic that with his past hockey skills, he is the right choice.”
Originally from Brandon, Man., Switzer’s Jr. A career spanned three seasons with stops in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta
He played for different teams, including the Flin Flon Bombers, across three leagues, putting up 153 points total.
After taking a year off, Switzer joined the University of Anchorage-Alaska Division 1 Men’s Hockey team before being forced to retire due to a lingering injury.
When he finished playing in 2021, he became assistant general manager and associate coach for the Thunder Cats.
Under previous head coach Bill Rotheisler, he said there was much to learn.
“This season, we went through a lot of ups and downs,” said Switzer.
“Seeing firsthand how it was all managed and being able to experience that from a coach’s standpoint as opposed to being a player – those are lessons I’ll keep with me going forward.”
He has high expectations for the team to hone their competitiveness going into the next season.
“Being able to build a winning team isn’t about having a single, one-off season,” he said.
“It’s building a culture within the whole organization where winning a game isn’t impressive, it’s an expectation. I’m not going to settle for less than that.”
As he works to build the teams culture, Switzer added that he wants to keep respectable values at their core.
“For me, it’s about finding a combo of skill and work ethic, but having good character comes above all that,” said Switzer.
“Being a Thunder Cat should mean you’re a good person first, and good hockey player second.”
– With information from KIJHL