It's been a banner summer for former UNB coaching staff.
Tom Coolen became the latest past member of the Varsity Reds team to be picked up by the NHL yesterday, when it was officially announced that he had been hired by the Buffalo Sabres as an assistant coach.
Coolen spent two seasons as the head coach of the Varsity Reds from 1998-2000. Coolen has also been head coach with teams in the AHL, DEL, QMJHL and CHL. Most recently, he spent the past two season with the coaching staff of the Latvian national team.
Former UNB coaches Mike Kelly, Gary Agnew and Andrew Brewer will also all join the NHL as assistant coaches this year.
Kelly will join the team of Gerard Gallant with the Florida Panthers. Kelly has had previous NHL experience working as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks from 2006-2008. Kelly played for UNB from 1981-1986 and returned as head coach in 1997. He led the Varsity Reds to their first CIS title in 1998 after winning a wsilver medla in 1997. Mike has also worked in the OHL, WHL and AHL.
Agnew is headed to Mike Johnston's team with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Agnew was a standout player for the UNB hockey team from 1978-1982, and assistant coach to both Don MacAdam and Doug MacLean at UNB. He got his start coaching the London Knights for several years before realizing the NHL dream in 2006 with the Columbus Blue Jackets as an assistant coach. For the last two seasons Agnew has been with the St. Louis Blues.
Brewer served as video coach for the Varsity Reds for three seasons (2009-2011) before travelling west to work with Hockey Canada in 2011. He was part of the coaching team which won gold at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Brewer's latest appointment is as assistant coach to Mike Babcock with the Detroit Red Wings.