When the Sunshine Coast’s Pacific Junior Hockey League team hits the ice next fall, a familiar face will be calling the shots.
Team owner Coastal Sports and Entertainment Group Ltd. has hired Brad Wingfield, most recently Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association (SCMHA) director of hockey operations, as its general manager and head coach.
Coast-raised, Wingfield played four years of Junior A hockey and 12 years of professional hockey, with stints in the organizations of the New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild, according to a franchise press release announcing the appointment. He was the first SCMHA graduate to play professional hockey and has been coaching minor hockey on the Coast since 2011.
“Brad’s experience and passion for the game, coupled with his proven ability to bring out the best in young players, both on and off the ice, made him the standout choice for this position,” Rick Hopper, the franchise’s director of operations said in the press release. “His success at growing and developing the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association and helping move an unprecedented number of players to higher levels, will no doubt be replicated with the area’s first-ever junior team.”
Wingfield will be formally introduced as the first head coach and GM at the GBS Charity Hockey Classic between the Canucks alumni team and the Sunshine Coast All-Stars on Dec. 2 (tickets for which are on sale at scjhs.ca). The team name and logo will be unveiled at the event as well.
“It’s a great honor to be selected as the junior team’s first Head Coach and General Manager,” said Wingfield in the press release. “It’s a major responsibility and challenge. I’m humbled at the opportunity and I will give this everything I have.”
“Being a long-time professional player, I know the game extremely well. But having had the opportunity to coach for many years from the tyke level right up to U-18, and dealing with the inner workings of an association, I’m confident I’m fully prepared to lead a highly competitive new junior hockey team in our community. The sky’s the limit for what we can accomplish here.”
Wingfield will continue in his minor hockey role until the season’s end.