The Victoria Cougars are proud to announce the promotion of Associate Coach Brody Coulter to the new role of Head Coach. He will also continue in the role of GM for the Cougars. The Cougars would also like to welcome back Sam McMullen in his new role as Associate Coach and Assistant GM.
Suneil Karod has taken a Assistant Coaching job with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL.
Coach Karod joined the Cougars in 2009 as an associate coach under Mark Van Helvoirt. Later stepping up to take the top job when Mark left the team before the 2016/17 season. He spent 7 seasons as Associate Coach, and 3 as Head Coach. He had this to say about the new opportunity in Junior A and his time with Victoria;
“I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a great organization. Coaching with Mark I learned a lot and he prepared me to take over this team. When I did I had a great staff with Brody and Jake Stolz and eventually Jake Nixon to help me grow not only as a coach but as a person. I really feel like I found my voice. I want to thank George for having confidence in me and Tina for her support. I want to especially thank Tony Carlson for being a sounding board for me and someone I could count on to help me grow. The board and staff have been very supportive with my decision to move up. I wish Jake, Jake and the Cougars luck this season. I know Brody will do a great job, he’s definitely ready to continue with Cougars success.”
Victoria Cougars President, George Linger, on the promotion of Coulter, and the departure of Karod;
“The Cougar Organization is extremely proud of the accomplishments that Suneil and his coaching staff have had over the last number of years. We wish Suneil the best in his new coaching position at the Junior A level. We are also proud with being able to promote Brody Coulter to Head Coach after serving on Suneil’s staff. Brody brings with him to the position a strong Cougar tradition from being a player and coach for the last 10 years.”
Brody Coulter is the natural selection to take over the role of the bench boss for the Cougars. In three seasons as a player, Coulter notched 260 points in 145 games, including the modern VIJHL record for points in a season with 118 points in the 2012/2013 season. After aging out of junior hockey he joined the Cougars under the wing of then head coach Mark Van Helvoirt in 2013/14. He was also appointed the General Manager position prior to last season helping the team to their 8th league championship. This is what he had to say on the new position;
“Taking over the Head Coaching duties with this program is a huge honour. As a player here, I was given so much and it’s nice to be able to give something back. From the players, to the staff, to the volunteers this program has always treated me like family I hope to be able to do the same moving forward.
This season is shaping up to be an exciting one. Suneil and I spent a lot of time this offseason putting together a roster that we felt very confident in. We’ve added some excellent pieces to what was already a strong returning group and what’s important now is that we take each day for what it is, an opportunity to improve.
Like most things, I expect this to be a challenge. But ultimately it’s a challenge that myself and the coaching staff are very eager to begin.
Having coached under Mark and Suneil, I’ve been very fortunate to have been given a first hand look at two very different but successful ways to operate a junior hockey team and I can’t thank the two of them enough.
When I found out Sam was interested in getting back into Junior hockey I felt like I had to reach out. Sam’s a former Cougar, a VIJHL champion and he has experience in running a program with the South Island Major Midget team. I expect Sam to have a big influence on this years team and the organization moving forward. As for the Jakes, both of them have and will continue to have significant roles here. The two of them were instrumental in our teams defensive game last year and I hope they are able to build off that again this year.“
Sam McMullen had a very successful VIJHL career as well. In 253 games split between Victoria and Saanich he collected 295 points. This included capturing the scoring title in 2015 with Victoria after totalling 99 points in 44 games. He also comes back to the Cougars with coaching and management experience after working with the Saanich Braves and the South Island Royals. He spent two years as the GM of the Minor and Major Midget programs with the South Island Royals. This is what Sam had to say;
“It’s feels good to be back with the organization for sure. I had lots of good memories here as a player. I’m excited to coach with the staff because we share the same passion and being good friends just tops it off. The rink needs to be a place you want to go to everyday, and with this group we will push each other to be better which will ultimately help the team success.”
Jake Nixon and Jake Stolz will continue in their roles as Associate Coaches; Bill Morrison as Goalie Coach.
More on the Stampeders Site HERE
The Victoria Cougars kick off the season at home against Westshore on September 5th, 7pm.Follow the Cougars on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram.