10 a.m., April 9)
coach accepts assistant job with 67's
By Fred Sherwin
Grads head coach and general manager Mark Grady has accepted an offer to
become an assistant coach with the Ottawa 67's where he will join Chris
Byrne who has taken over the reigns of the OHL club from the legendary Brian
It has been rumoured
for sometime that Grady would be joining Byrne who he coached with during
a stint with the Nepean Raiders in 2001-02 before coming to Cumberland.
During an interview
on Team 1200 Thursday morning, Grady said that he has been discussing the
possibility of joining Byrne behind the 67's bench for the past several
some preliminary discussions during the season, but I didn't want to distract
anyone and because of my situation with work we had to make sure everything
fit," said Grady. "I had to deal with the family and deal with
work and that's where we are today."
As for his relationship
with Byrne, Grady said that they should be a good fit
well together. We kind of read well off each other and can pick up on what
our strengths are and what our weaknesses are," said Grady who is well
aware of the fact that he and Byrne will be following in the footsteps of
a pair of legends in Bert O'Brien and Brian Kilrea. "I'm very humbled
to step behind the bench behind Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Kilrea. I just hope
we can win half the games they have."
During his tenure
with the Grads, Grady has guided them to two Robinson Division championships
in the past two years only to see them lose in the first round of the playoffs.
He first joined
the team as an assistant in 2002-03 and then was promoted to head coach
and GM in 2005-06 to replace Bruce Johnston.
He won Coach
of the Year in his rookie season and again this past season after guiding
the Grads to the third best record in the CJHL. Unfortunately, the season
ended prematurely when the Ottawa Jr. Senators knocked them out of the playoffs
in six games.
The search is
now on to find a replacement for Grady behind the Grads bench and in the
In a statement
released shortly after Thursday's announcement, Grads' owner Steve Barban
thanked Grady for his many years of service to the club
"In no small
part through Mark's efforts, the Grads have become known as a destination
of choice for elite student athletes looking to continue their hockey develop.m.ent
at the Junior A level. The solid base in hockey operations that Mark has
helped create will be enjoyed in Navan for many years to come," says
us in the Grads organization join together in wishing Mark continued success
at the Major Junior level. While we are sorry to see him go, his departure
is further proof that not only are the Grads players heavily scouted, but
also their hockey staff. We take pride in this dual develop.m.ent role."
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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