Wildcats’ head coach Mike Flanagan resigned from his position today after accepting a job as assistant coach of the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals. Flanagan served as the Wildcats’ interim head coach for the final 20 games of the 2009-2010 season, posting an 8-10-2 record.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Flanagan said. “The timing is not the greatest, but in this business you can’t control when opportunities come, and when lightning strikes, you have to take it.”
Flanagan worked with Admirals’ head coach Jon Cooper with the St. Louis Bandits in the 2006-07 season. Under their tutelage, the Bandits won the 2007 Robertson Cup.
“Jon and I have known each other a long time,” he said. “I worked under him as an assistant in St. Louis and we coached against each other in Michigan,” where Flanagan was the head coach of the Grand Rapids Owls and Cooper coached the Metro Jets.
“Wichita Falls is a great hockey town,” Flanagan said. “We’ve had excellent fan support and two respectful owners in Rick Brodsky and Roy Davoult… It’s never easy to uproot your family, but this is a great opportunity to continue to grow as a coach and I am looking forward to joining an excellent staff in Norfolk.”
In closing, Flanagan thanked Brodsky and Davoult, Grand Rapids Owls’ owner Jerry Barber, St. Louis owners Mike Brooks and Kelly Chase, his extended family, and NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “They have given me some great opportunities and I am truly thankful for their support; they are men of class and integrity,” Flanagan said.
“It’s tough to leave,” he added. “Coach Billick and I had some personal goals we had set with this team. I feel they’re on the cusp of something great.” Assistant coach Thomas Billick will remain in his position with the Wildcats. The team has a short list of candidates to take over the head coaching position, and having Coach Billick here will help ensure a smooth transition. Team owners Rick Brodsky and Roy Davoult have already received several calls and applications and feel confident they will fill the position within a matter of weeks.
Photo by Torin Halsey, Times Record News