Widnes Wild announced today that Scott McKenzie (Dunfermline, Scotland) has been named head coach of the Widnes Wild ice hockey club, initially on a two year contract, that will participate in the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) National Ice Hockey League (NiHL) playing out of Silver Blades Ice Rink, Widnes, England. McKenzie will be supported in his role by the existing Widnes Wild coaching and management team.
As well as being Head Coach of the Widnes Wild NiHL, McKenzie will assume responsibility for all ice hockey development in Widnes as well as being the lead ice hockey professional on the Ice Hockey BTEC in Sport delivered in partnership with Warrington Colligate.
McKenzie, who has experience of playing at all levels of British ice hockey, was one of the leading players of the Telford Tigers English Ice Hockey Premier League (EPIHL) team who won the league and cup double in the 2014/15 season. Although still considered young in ice hockey circles at 28 McKenzie has an impressive playing record that has seen him score 520 points in 476 EPIHL games and has played for teams including the Slough Jets, Edinburgh Capitals and Manchester Phoenix.
In addition to his playing duties with the Tigers, McKenzie served as head coach of the Telford Tigers NiHL team last season securing them the second spot with in the league as well as seeing them finish as runners-up in the playoffs. McKenzie has also served as a coach of both the Tigers under 18’s team and the Wrekin Raiders Womens ice hockey team.
Speaking on behalf of the Widnes Wild, team manager Mick Caunce said;
“It is testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the Widnes Wild that we are able to bring a coach of Scott’s calibre to the team. Whilst I am sure that Scott will ice for the Wild senior team when he feels it is appropriate it is his coaching talent that he has been recruited for.”
“Having Scott in a full time coaching role will allow the club, from juniors through to the senior team, to develop and establish itself as one of the great clubs in British ice hockey, building on the work started by Mark Gillingham, his coaching team and the players,” continued Caunce.
“I am honoured to take on the role of Head Coach of the Widnes Wild ice hockey club,” said McKenzie. “The club has come a long way in a very short space of time thanks to the hard work and dedication of the players, coaching and management team in Widnes”.
“Going forward we will build on that hard work by creating an environment where talented young players can excel and look to develop their playing career.”
“Although there is a solid foundation in place and a fan base that is second-to-none, the club still has tremendous untapped potential, “continued McKenzie, “and we will be looking to ensure that Widnes is seen as the leader in both player development and community engagement”.
“We will continue to develop the “Wild Way” by reaching for consistent growth in all departments to ultimately build a supportive environment that allows ice hockey in Widnes to remain healthy and sustainable in the future.”