By Carter Brooks
Photo by Nadine Rupp
The Rink Hockey Academy has fully announced its coaching staff for all three of its programs for the upcoming 2018-19 hockey season.
Returning for their third season as a coaching duo with the Midgets is Rob Smith and Ian Duval. Smith, a Steinbach native who spent time with the Calgary Hitmen, Brampton Battalion and the University of Manitoba Bisons, will once again be the head coach of the Midget Nationals.
Brad Purdie will also once again return for his third season as the Head Coach of the Bantam aged Nationals for the 2018-19 calendar year. Purdie played professionally in Europe and the IHL, before coaching at the University of Manitoba, the U-16 POE, and the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Albertan Sandy Henry will join Purdie as an assistant this coming season.
Nick Fuher will be back for his second year with the Elite 15s. After playing with the University of North Dakota and the former Utah Grizzlies of the AHL, Fuher went on to coach in various roles within the USHL, MJHL and BCHL, before coming to RHA for the 2017-18 season. Fuher will have newcomer Mitch Giguere of Montreal as his assistant in 2018-19.
Playing out of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League in western Canada and the United States, the players on the three RHA teams are given exposure to high level hockey, while balancing a highly organized, exceptionally busy day-to-day schedule.
Attending school, hockey, and athletic training takes up the majority of the student athletes' days. Following school throughout the morning, daily afternoon workouts at The RINK and Southdale Community Centre make up the rest of the day for the CSSHL students.