Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Reeds steps down in K-Zoo, off to OHL

The Kalamazoo Wings announced today that director of hockey operations and head coach Mark Reeds has left the organization to except a similar position in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Attack.

With the departure of Reeds, the K-Wings have already begun the search for the 19th head coach, not including interim coaches, in K-Wings history, and first since joining the newly-formed IHL.

Reeds has produced winning teams everywhere he has coached, but it was with the K-Wings were he flourished. By having the K-Wings give him all the resources he needed, Reeds was able to reach the postseason every year he was in Kalamazoo, which includes reaching the Colonial Cup Finals the past two seasons.

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 helped the K-Wings capture its first championship in 26 seasons during the 2005-06. Reeds also ranks third on the UHL’s all-time coaching win list.

With heading the OHL, Reeds heads to a league that over this off-season sent many coaches to the American Hockey League.

“Mark’s goal has always been to coach in the National Hockey League and he believes he is moving closer to obtaining that goal by excepting this position,” said Kalamazoo GM Wade Welsh. “This off season a majority of the coaching vacancies in the AHL were filled by OHL head coaches."

Prior to coming to Kalamazoo, Reeds honed his winning coaching style as an 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. In fact, 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.

As stated above, the K-Wings have already commenced the search for a replacement.

“We have high standards in every aspect of our organization, including the director of hockey operations/head coach,” said Welsh. “While we understand the season is fast approaching, we will take our due diligence during this search to secure the perfect candidate that meets the standards we set in place five years ago.”


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