Anderson, McCauley to coach IceHawks
Leaving Georgetown for rebuilding Milton
BY STEVE LEBLANC Special to The IFP There'll be a mighty familiar face behind the IceHawks' bench this fall. A two-time assistant coach here and one of the most recognizable names in the Provincial Jr. A League's Western Conference, Jay Anderson is now on board as Milton's new head coach. The 38-year-old Georgetown resident-- who just wrapped up a sixth stint with his hometown Raiders-- officially accepted the position Tuesday. Just a day earlier it was announced that he'd declined to return to Georgetown. This was due to a change in rank for general manager Jack Moon - who's also part ways with the Raiders, who were purchased earlier this month by Campbellville's Rick Heinz. "It feels good, I've been trying to get here (Milton) a few times," said Anderson, who's coached in the West off and on for the better part of two decades now and was the division's 2001/02 Coach of the Year - during a rather successful rebuilding period with the Oakville Blades. Overseeing operations for Milton since their affiliation with the IceDogs was announced last month, Mississauga general manager Dave Brown said with Anderson the IceHawks get a proven 'development' coach. "Jay brings a calming influence to this team. He's renowned for bringing along young players," said Brown. "It's not only about winning championships, it's also about how many players you can move on to either the OHL or NCAA. Now we've got one of the best guys at that." A teacher at Oakville Trafalgar High School, Anderson echoed those sentiments and feels Milton's new era as a full-fledged development team will be beneficial for all concerned. "This is an ideal situation I'm walking into. This league is supposed to be about development and now we've got it in its purest form," he remarked. "Hopefully we'll see more and more of this (in the West) in the near future." Anderson brings a wealth of experience to the IceHawks. Along with being a head coach or assistant with four West teams over the past 17 years, he's been an intricate part of Ontario's Under-17 program and in recent years has done some scouting work for the Calgary Flames.
But despite his seasoned status, Anderson admits he's still learning-- and expects to do plenty of that working with guys like Brown and Greg Gilbert under the IceDogs' umbrella. "Working with Dave will be a big plus for me. He's had so much success over the years and is a guy you can actually talk to," explained Anderson. "There's no ego with him." With Anderson, the IceHawks also pick up protégé Blaine McCauley-- also a Georgetown native who got his introduction to junior coaching as an assistant with this year's Raiders. Set to run the defence this coming fall, McCauley is a former Royal Bank Cup champion with BC's Vernon Vipers and has played in both the NCAA-- with Lake Superior State-- and at the pro level in the East Coast Hockey League and, more briefly, in the American Hockey League. "We work well together, and if there's ever been a guy who knows how to get to the next level, it's Blaine," said Anderson. The IceHawks' GM duties will continue to be handled through the IceDogs for the time being, with no immediate plans to bring anyone in to fill the post.