WATERLOO, Ont. - Wilfrid Laurier University's department of Athletics and Recreation is pleased to announce the hiring of alumnus GREG PUHALSKI
as the manager of hockey operations and head coach for the men’s program.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at Wilfrid Laurier. It is a place that I remember fondly and I look forward to being part of the Laurier family," said the Golden Hawks newest head coach. "I am eager to work with Peter Baxter
, his athletic staff and the university in providing a highly competitive winning hockey program. Our goal is to produce quality students and successful hockey teams."
Greg was named interim head coach of the ECHL Wheeling Nailers on Jan. 2nd, 2008 and took over the position full-time at the start of the 2009 season. He posted an 82-83-19 record with the team in his two and a half seasons and is fourth on the organizations most coaching wins list.
In 2006, Greg was named the United Hockey League Coach of the Year while coaching the Chicago Hounds. Through 16 seasons of coaching, Puhalski has recorded 634 victories, 391 losses and one league championship.
"Greg brings a wealth of experience from the professional ranks to our hockey program," said director of athletics and recreation Peter Baxter
. "His knowledge of the game earned while both playing and coaching gives him invaluable insight into the sport. We want to welcome him back to the Golden Hawk nest."
As a centre, Puhalski's pro playing career spanned four seasons with the Toledo Storm. He totaled 70 goals and 155 assists for 225 points and 177 penalty minutes in 123 career regular-season ECHL games. Puhalski served as the Toledo Storm head coach from 1994-1998, while compiling 162 wins in 278 games. He then led the Port Huron Border Cats of the UHL to 88 wins in two seasons before leaving for the Fort Wayne Komets (UHL) in 2000. In his third season behind the bench for the Komets, Puhalski captured the 2002-03 Turner Cup Championship. In six seasons with the Komets, Puhalski compiled 271 wins.
He was Boston's third round choice, 62nd overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft.
"Being able to coach at my alma mater is definitely exciting," said Puhalski. "Laurier is known for leadership and excellence. I firmly believe that these two qualities and my past experiences as a coach have prepared me well to lead our hockey program."
After his five year OHL career which was split between the Kitchener Rangers and the London Knights, Puhalski played four years at Laurier and is the team’s all-time point leader with 222 and goal scorer with 88. He was the Hawks team MVP three times and earned the President’s award in 1990. Laurier’s men’s hockey team also claimed back-to-back provincial championships in 1989 and 1990. In1995 he was inducted into the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame.
Greg joins six other current Golden Hawk head coaches as Laurier alumni.
The men's hockey team finished the 2009-10 regular season in fourth place with a 17-7-4 record. In the first round of the playoffs Laurier lost to Guelph in three games.
Greg and his wife, Alison and eight month old daughter Zara will be relocating to the Waterloo Region from Wheeling, West Virginia.