The Coquitlam Express have hired a new head coach, and he will be a familiar face to Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ fans.
Former Bulldogs’ associate coach Brandon Shaw will take the helm at the Express as head coach and assistant general manager, effective immediately.
Shaw is no stranger to the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) having spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach with the Merritt Centennials for three years and two more in Port Alberni.
“We are really excited to welcome Brandon to the Express organization as our new head coach,” said Tali Campbell, Express general manager. “After an in-depth search, we were impressed with his experience in recruiting, his connections with NCAA schools and his detailed approach to making a team successful.”
“I am extremely excited to join the Express, a premier organization in the BCHL,” said Shaw in a press release. “I would like to take a moment and thank team governor Fayaz Manji and GM Tali Campbell for this opportunity. I also wish to thank my family for all their support along the way.”
Shaw makes the move with blessings from Bulldogs’ head coach Joe Martin, with whom Shaw worked in both Merritt and Port Alberni. “I’m happy for Brandon, he is a forward-thinking coach with whom I have a good history,” Martin said in a statement. “He works very well with young players and has a passion for skill development.”
Bulldogs’ president David Michaud said it was bittersweet to lose a coach of Shaw’s calibre, but he wished him well.
Shaw thanked Martin for his leadership over the past few years.
“I have been fortunate to have great mentors in the BCHL in Joe Martin and David Michaud at Alberni Valley and can’t thank them enough for helping guide me in my professional development as a coach.”
Shaw will begin his tenure in Coquitlam immediately to focus on the upcoming BCHL season—the 20th for the Express and 60th anniversary for the league itself.
Shaw replaces Adam Nugent-Hopkins behind the Express bench. Nugent-Hopkins was a mid-season hire as interim coach after Dan Cioffi stepped down from the position at the beginning of March after less than a full BCHL season.