Beginning a new era of University of Lethbridge Pronghorn men’s hockey, first-year head coach Spiros Anastas has rounded out his staff for the 2014-15 Canada West season by adding assistant coach Sean Gillam, athletic therapist/equipment manager Brennan Mahon, director of hockey operations Jesse Hale, and strength and conditioning coach Austin Davenport.
A Lethbridge native, Gillam joins the program with more than 10 years of coaching and scouting experience, serving as an assistant coach in the ECHL and CHL with the Jackson Bandits and Rio Grande Killer Bees.
The former Detroit Red Wings draft pick was also the head coach of the Fayetteville FireAntz in the SPHL and most recently worked as a scout for the Victoria Royals (WHL).
“It is exciting to be adding a coach of Sean's caliber to our program,” says Anastas. “Sean's extensive experience in recruiting and player development will be a huge asset for us. His professional coaching and playing background is impressive, and having played for two familiar hockey colleagues, Mike Babcock in Spokane and Glen Merkosky during his time in the Red Wings organization, makes him a perfect fit.”
Mahon comes to the ‘Horns with extensive CIS experience working with both Mount Royal University and the University of Alberta hockey teams. Most recently he worked in professional football with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Mahon earned his bachelor of physical education from the University of Alberta, his athletic therapy diploma from Mount Royal and is certified through the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association.
“We are pleased to be adding Brennan to our staff in a much needed position,” says Anastas. “Brennan's experience in all sports gives him a variety of talents and skills required to help us in daily operations and keep our student-athletes healthy; he is a great young professional and I am excited to work with him.”
No stranger to the Pronghorn hockey program, Hale returns to the team after a year hiatus. Hale served as the team’s equipment manager for six seasons and will rejoin the program with an expanded role. An alumnus of the University of Lethbridge, he works as the regional coordinator for Hockey Alberta.
“Jesse has been critical in the program's transition between coaches and has added great value over the years,” says Anastas. “He has played a big part in identifying talent and getting me acclimated to the workings of the CIS game.”
Also returning to the program is former Pronghorn Austin Davenport, who will be working solely with the men’s team as the strength and conditioning coach. Davenport played with the ‘Horns from 2007-11 and suited up for 83 games in four years with the team.
“Having someone who is familiar with the needs of a hockey player and our program will benefit us greatly,” says Anastas. “As a Pronghorn alumnus, Austin cares deeply for our success and has shown excellent commitment to building programs and models for the optimal health and fitness of our student-athletes.”