Assistants add muscle to Renegades program
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A strong group of assistant coaches, along with an engaged support staff, is critical to the success of any youth hockey program, and the West Coast Renegades are confident they have all the pieces in place.
Renegades director of hockey operations and 16U Tier I coach Adam Bartholomay is nothing but excited with the new additions joining the program for the 2015-16 season.
“Hiring qualified assistants is a integral part of the developmental experience for the players within our program,” said Bartholomay, “and we’re confident we have a staff in place that’s committed to seeing them reach their fullest potential, on and off the ice.”
Bryce Mannek will serve as the new 14U assistant under Jon Solomon, while Daniel Chang is aboard at the 16U level with Bartholomay. Todd Humble and Greg Leeb are joining the 18U group with head coach Ian Soldano.
Also on board this coming season is goaltending instructor Mark Sample of In The Crease Goaltending, as well as academic advisor Derek Farr.
“I’m very excited to join the Renegades coaching staff,” Mannek said. “I look forward to showcasing and promoting our players to higher levels of the game.
“Working side by side with all the coaches and directors who have the same beliefs will only make our organization better and strengthen our numbers in the years to come.”
“Bryce is a very well-known hockey person in Utah and the surrounding areas,” added Bartholomay. “He brings a lot of assets to the table.”
Chang couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Renegades program.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to become a coach and teach the game I grew up loving,” Chang said. “To be around coaches with outstanding resumes, both within their own professional careers as well as their coaching careers, is a great experience, and I’m humbled to assist in any way I can.
“Adam and Todd have taken me under their wings and have really shown me the kind of dedication it takes to coach at the Tier I level.
“I’m proud to say I’m part of the Renegades organization, especially under the leadership of (Renegades owners) Joe and Lisa D’Urso, who run this program extremely well.”
“Daniel has a very good knowledge of the game, playing in junior, college and the pro ranks,” Bartholomay said. “We’re thrilled to have guys like this in our program.”
Bartholomay is also confident that Leeb will prove to be a valued asset within the organization as it relates to development and exposure.
“Greg brings a great wealth of knowledge to our program,” said Bartholomay. “He’s played at the highest level of the game (two games with Dallas Stars in 2000-01 and numerous pro seasons in Europe), and having his experience really helps our players and staff.”
As the academic advisor, Farr will assist players who plan to pursue the NCAA route, helping them select the right classes while keeping track of their grades.
“This gives me the opportunity to work with young men and help them further their academic goals,” said Farr. “I love how hockey can give the boys a chance to further their education, and I love working with student-athletes.”
Sample has worked with goalies across Utah for the past seven years with In the Crease and wants nothing more than to see goaltenders from Utah continue to thrive.
“I’m fortunate and thankful to be able to work with Adam and the D’Urso family,” said Sample. “It’s exciting to be a part of this up-and-coming program, and I’m proud of the goaltending program we’ve built.”
As the Renegades move forward, so too does its relationship with local facilities. The Renegades and the Utah Olympic Oval recently came to an agreement in which the program’s 16U and 18U teams will practice and play out of the rink.
“This is a huge deal for us,” said Bartholomay. “We love the Oval staff and what the facility can provide for our players.”
– Matt Mackinder