Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reeds stays on as Kalamazoo bench boss

The Kalamazoo Wings announced a two-year contract extension for director of hockey operations and head coach Mark Reeds today.

Reeds just concluded his fourth season as head coach of the K-Wings. Under Reeds’ tutelage, Kalamazoo has made the playoffs in each of his seasons as the franchise bench boss, including two consecutive trips to the Colonial Cup finals. Two seasons ago, Reeds and the K-Wings captured the franchise's first championship in 26 years and first in the UHL.

“Mark is one of the finest coaches in minor league hockey,” said Kalamazoo GM Paul Pickard. “Not only does he have a great hockey mind, he knows how to extract the most out of his players.”

Reeds has produced winning teams everywhere he has coached and that was exemplified by capturing the Colonial Cup last May. The only man to be selected UHL Coach of the Year on more than one occasion (three times: 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2004-2005), Reeds ranks third on the leagues all-time coaching win list.

Under Reeds’ guidance, the K-Wings have become a perennial power. Reeds has been behind the bench for many of the franchise’s grandest moments including last season, where the K-Wings captured their first division title and Tarry Cup.

Prior to coming to Kalamazoo, Reeds honed his winning coaching style as assistant coach of the Peoria Rivermen (IHL). After four seasons as an assistant coach, he was named head coach of the Rivermen when they joined the ECHL. While the bench boss of the Rivermen, Reeds guided Peoria to the Kelly Cup semifinals in 1996-97 and a Northwest Division and Northern Conference title in 1997-98. From 1996-98, Reeds compiled more wins than any other coach in the ECHL.

Following his tenure in Peoria, Reeds became the head coach of the Missouri River Otters and right away established the standard for an expansion franchise. The River Otters are still one of three expansion teams in UHL history to average 40 wins in their first three seasons.

Reeds’ tenacity and commitment behind the bench started back during his playing career. Reeds laced up his skates for 12 professional seasons including eight in the National Hockey League. He was a fifth-round (86th overall) selection of the St. Louis Blues in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Before turning pro, Reeds found success as an amateur, as he was a three-time Ontario Hockey League champion with the Peterborough Petes (1976-79), and a three-time Memorial Cup finalist, which includes the 1979 Memorial Cup championship.

In his first season as a professional, Reeds was a member of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, winning the Central Hockey League Adams Cup championship in 1980. From there, he played six seasons with the Blues and two with the Hartford Whalers.


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