PJHL TOD DIVISION
By Jeff Gard Total Sports Media
Kyle Hawkins-Schulz has been named the new head coach of the Picton Pirates junior C hockey club.
Earlier this month, the Provincial Junior Hockey League team announced the resignation of coach Ty Green and the retirement of general manager Chris Masterson, who was replaced by Jason Parks.
With the hiring of Hawkins-Schulz, Parks has dipped into the Pirates’ past to lead them into the future.
Hawkins-Schulz, now 32, played five seasons of junior A hockey from 2005-2010, including two with the former Trenton Sting and three with the Wellington Dukes. He also had a three-game conditioning stint with the Pirates in 2010.
Following his playing career, Hawkins-Schulz has gained coaching experience at the triple-A minor hockey, junior C and junior A levels. He was assistant coach to Ryan Woodward during the Pirates’ Schmalz Cup provincial championship win in 2013.
“Knowing Hawk was available and interested in coming back to Picton this time in a head coaching role, he was my first choice and the organization is so happy to welcome him back,” Parks stated in a release.
“When it comes to this level of junior hockey, I’ve always been a big believer in development and offering people the tools to grow, get better and, if they desire, take a next step.”
Parks added that Hawkins-Schulz is ready for the opportunity to be a head coach. The new coach is thankful for the opportunity and ready to prepare for the upcoming season.
“I’m very familiar with the leadership group on this team, having worked with players like team captain Devin Morrison in the past and when you look at what we have for a roster right now, we have some very good pieces,” Hawkins-Schulz stated in the release. “I know Jason is committed to building a championship calibre team for Picton again and there’s a lot to be excited about.”
The rest of the coaching staff will be filled out in the coming months and discussions have already begun with prospective candidates.
“I know in speaking to Kyle at length, there is definite interest in reaching out to former Pirates players from that 2013 era and seeing if the right candidate would like to serve as a second assistant,” Parks stated.