Darby will be back behind the Legionniares’ bench
The Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaires will have at least a pair of familiar faces behind the bench next season as the board of directors voted last week to retain head coach Regan Darby and assistant coach Sheldon Reinhart for the 20092010 season.
The program will however undergo some changes in the off-season as general manager Jim Dekowny has stepped aside.
Larry Johnson, Legionnaires’ chairman of the board, explained the decision to bring Darby and Reinhart for another season.
“We thought what happened after he (Regan) took over was that the players were held accountable on the ice and off the ice as well. We had lots of good comments in regards to how they handled the kids. Of course Sheldon is very enthusiastic and very positive and I know the players liked having him around. So we thought that we would just continue with the program with Regan as head coach and Sheldon as assistant coach. Scott Rumpel is going to be the manager, not the general manager, there will be just a tweak in the job description a little bit.”
Johnson explained the decision was made after a combination of factors were considered including the team’s strong performance at the Telus Cup Western Regional Qualifying Tournament held in Swift Current.
“I think that it was just leading up to it that most of the Board members saw how they reacted, the differences they had in supporting each other, it wasn’t just the Telus Cup, it was leading up to that even watching their practices. Of course they played very well in the Telus Cup and there were a lot of good comments from a whole lot of people in regards to how they played. So it was combination of all those things and we are looking forward to another year with them.”
The Board is hopeful that the program is now gaining momentum and ready to turn the corner.
“Well we certainly hope so and yeah we do. It is certainly hard being in Swift Current to get some of the top end kids in the province coming to our community as we are a little ways out from the Regina or Saskatoons. Our players fees are probably about average but some of the top end teams are probably a whole lot less than ours. It is a combination of a few things. But I think that we are turning the corner and are heading in the right direction. We are all positive about what is happening after the Telus Cup, have good reports, and are looking forward to it again.
Johnson also explained Dekowny’s decision to step aside.
“That position with the Legionnaires it took a lot of time. It wasn’t just an eight month job it is 12 month job and he committed a lot of time to it. He just felt that after a number of years he wanted to spend more time with his family. He has a cabin out at the lake and that is where he wanted to spend his time with his family and renew those values. He wanted to spend more time at his job as well because it took a lot of time away from his job.”
A second assistant coach also remains a possibility says Johnson.
“ That remains to be seen. I would guess that they would maybe want another one. No names have come up, but once that is brought to the Board we will certainly let you know.”