The Melbourne Mustangs have delivered an early Christmas present to its players, supporters and fans with the club’s director of hockey operations, Andrew McDowell, announcing their coaching staff for 2013. McDowell this morning released the following statement:
Brad Vigon has been appointed head coach and will lead the young Mustangs into their third Australian Ice Hockey League season. Brad will be ably assisted by IHV stalwart and state coach Mark Connolly.
Brad, one of only a handful of IHV level three certified coaches, is a very experienced player and coach. Originally from Los Angeles, he started playing hockey at the age of five. He played juniors in both North American and Canadian leagues before moving onto to Europe to continue his career, playing in Finland, Holland and Sweden.
On his return to LA he met an Aussie who wanted to move back to Australia. Brad found out there was ice hockey in Melbourne and made the move. Brad played for the Sharks and Melbourne Ice, then aged 34, and did so as both captain and assistant coach throughout his career with the Ice.
At age 39 he was selected to play for Australia in the Senior Men’s team winning gold in front of a passionate Aussie crowd in Newcastle in 2008. Brad continued as assistant coach with the Melbourne Ice, winning two Goodall Cups in a row with the club.
Brad is married with two children; boys aged four and five.
Brad’s assistant, Mark “Chuck” Connolly, is also an experienced campaigner and the Mustangs are very excited to have Chuck on board.
Chuck started playing in IHV in 1978 for the Pirates, and represented Victoria in both Tange and Brown National Championships. In 1986 he went to Ireland and played a couple of seasons for the Belfast Racers, including his first coaching gig for the same.
He returned to Melbourne and has had numerous coaching appointments in inline and ice, most recently coaching the Demons/Jets Premier A to a championship, and then this year coaching the Victorian Brown team to a gold medal in front of a home crowd.
Mark is married with three Children.
Brad is thrilled with his appointment and the challenge stating: “It’s a great opportunity to coach such a young and talented squad and it’s exciting as a coach to get a team with such potential”.
Having secured a terrific coaching outfit the club is now hard at work planning for 2013, searching for the right combination of import players that will play hard with, and mentor, this young exciting playing group - the aim being to see the Mustangs in playoff contention sooner rather than later.