Confirming earlier reports, the Ducks officially named Mark Holick head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, their AHL affiliate for the upcoming season. The contract is a multi-year deal; financial terms were not disclosed.
Holick said that Ducks general manager Bob Murray first encouraged him to apply for the job at the West Coast prospects camp in April.
“I was flattered,” said Holick, who had never interviewed for a professional coaching position before. He formally accepted the position Sunday.
“Being with pro athletes is a bit of a step, but at the same time, hockey’s hockey,” Holick said.
The 41-year-old has an extensive coaching resume.
He spent three seasons as head coach for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2007-10, compiling a 120-75-21 record for 261 points and three consecutive trips to the WHL playoffs. Last season Holick guided the Ice to a 43-25-5 record (91 points) for a second-place finish in the Central Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Holick also served as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF World U18 Championship in Fargo, North Dakota.
The Saskatoon native served 13 seasons as a head coach and assistant in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) from 1994-07. Holick began his professional coaching career as an assistant with Penticton (1994-95), Langley (1995-96) and South Surrey (1996-97) of the BCHL before becoming head coach of South Surrey in 1997-98. He also coached in St. Albert and Spruce Grove of the AJHL from 2003-06 prior to returning for his final BCHL season with Vernon in 2006-07.
Murray said in a statement that “With 16 years of coaching experience, Mark Holick has the proven track record we were looking for. He had three great seasons in the WHL, including earning Coach of the Year honors in 2009-10, and is certainly qualified to take the next step.”
Holick said he’s already spoken with Randy Carlyle and will try to install a similar system in Syracuse.
Aside from Brian Lebler, he doesn’t know who his personnel will consist of, but his mission is pretty straightforward: “Our job is to get them ready for the National Hockey League.”