For the upcoming season, Brad Tobin has been announced as the new head coach and general manager of the Thunder Cats.
This change of hands follows Brandon Switzer’s departure for an assistant coaching position with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Spruce Grove Saints. In April, Switzer took over as head coach to replace Bill Rotheisler.
“I am very excited that we were able to hire such an experienced and qualified coach to make this transition as seamless as possible,” said Shannon Veitch, Thunder Cats vice president.
“We believe his experience will be a valuable asset to our team this season.”
Tobin has previous experience with the Thunder Cats from time spent in the Creston Valley. During the 2016/17 Cyclone Taylor Cup, he served as an assistant coach under current Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) commissioner Jeff Dubois. Then in the next season as head coach and general manager, Tobin led the Cats to a 32-12-1 record, coming in fifth in the league’s rankings.
He spent the past four years with the Surrey Eagles under the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) in numerous roles ranging from assistant coach to assistant general manager. The Eagles ran an 85-92-13 record during his time with the team.
Veitch was instrumental in recruiting Tobin from developing a professional working relationship with him in years past. The rest of the board agrees it will be a positive move forward for the team.
“I’m excited about his enthusiasm and his experience he brings to the table,” said President Larry Binks.
“He has a rounded background from coaching and playing hockey and just interacting with the players. And he knows our community.”
Since his last season with the Thunder Cats, Tobin said he has learned a lot about himself, the game, and his coaching philosophy. He is looking forward to returning to the familiarity of the Creston Valley.
“Coming into a situation where you know a few familiar faces around town is big and it helps me hit the ground running right away,” said Tobin.
”I’m happy to be back in Creston, and I hope the folks around town will be happy to see me back too.”
In several weeks, the Thunder Cats will hit the ice for training camp starting on Sept. 2 at the Johnny Bucyk Arena.
Hockey fans take note – the first pre-season home game is Sept. 14 versus Fernie, and the regular season home opener is Sept. 23 against the Castlegar Rebels.