The new coach of the Brock Badgers men’s hockey team will be a familiar name to many in Niagara.
Marty Williamson has been named Brock’s interim head coach for men’s hockey for the 2017-18 season.
Williamson served as coach and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs for six seasons until May 2016, leading the team to six-straight playoff appearances and two OHL conference championships.
“We’re fortunate to get a high-quality coach like Marty, who brings a wealth of experience and has had great success coaching in the OHL,” said Brock Sports Director Neil Lumsden, who made the coaching announcement Wednesday, Aug. 9.
“With the season right around the corner, the players are excited and motivated to get going,” Lumsden said.
Williamson, who lives in St. Catharines, said he’s looking forward to the new challenge.
“It’s just as exciting as when I got my first job in the OHL. Coaching is coaching and that part of it I feel confident with, but this is a little bit of a different animal,” he said. “It has kind of come full circle. I coached minor hockey helping kids get to the OHL, then in the OHL for 12 years, and now I’ll be coaching guys who are at a different point in their career working on both academics and hockey.”
After leading tryouts and training camp later this month, Williamson’s first test as head coach will come at the Steel Blade Classic, being played Sept. 15 at the Meridian Centre, where the coach spent countless hours behind the bench.
“That’s a fantastic facility. It’ll be nice to look at the banners hanging there,” Williamson said. “The goal is to beat Guelph and the preparation starts as soon as we can get on the ice with the guys.”
Beyond the pre-season, the coach is aiming for a successful season for the Badgers.
“Giving yourself a chance to win every night is always the first goal. If you do that, everything kind of takes care of itself. Getting a group of guys who will pull in the same direction is what you’re looking for,” he said.
Tickets for the Steel Blade hockey game are available online at www.steelbladeclassic.com. Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. A limited number of free student tickets will be available from the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk in September.