Source: Maureen Sparks, UNB Communications andSpecial Events Manager
The Pittsburgh Penguins appointed former University of NewBrunswick Varsity Reds coach Mike Johnston of Dartmouth, NS, as theNational Hockey League team’s head coach on Wednesday.
Johnston coached UNB for five seasons from 1989-1994 leading histeams to a 75-43-7 conference record and a 12-11 playoff recordbefore departing for his first NHL stint where he spent six seasonas assistant and associate coach with the Vancouver Cannucks(99-06).
Johnston also spent two years with the Los Angeles Kings (06-08)and more recently six years as head coach of the WHL PortlandWinterhawks (09-14).
In addition to Johnston UNB has had four previous coaches moveinto the NHL coaching ranks.
Former UNB player (1970-1973) Don MacAdam stepped into the UNBhead coach position in 1977 (77-85) after playing for several yearsin Europe. He led the team to their first AUS (AUAA)championship in twenty years (1983-1984) before leaving in1985 tojoin the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. MacAdam served threeyears as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings.
Doug MacLean stepped into MacAdam’s UNB spot and spentjust one year (85-86) at the helm at UNB leading the team to a9-15-0 record when he got the call to join the St. Louis Blues(87-88) as an assistant coach. He also had assistant position withboth the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings (90-92).MacLean landed a head coach position with the Florida Panthers forthree seasons (95-98) and then spent two years as head coach of theColumbus Blue Jackets (02-04).
Gary Agnew, a standout player for the UNB hockey team for fouryears (78-82) assistant coach to both MacAdam and MacLean at UNBgot his start coaching the London Knights for several years beforerealizing the NHL dream in 2006 (06-10) with the Columbus BlueJackets as an assistant coach. For the last two seasons Agnewhas been with the St. Louis Blues (12-14) and is still hoping forthat head coach position.
UNB’s other former player and coach, Mike Kelly, also hasNHL experience serving as an assistant coach with the VancouverCanucks for two seasons (06-08). Kelly played for UNB1981-1986 and returned as head coach in 1997. He led the UNBVarsity Reds to their first CIS title in 1998 after winning asilver medal in 1997. Mike has also worked in the OHL, WHL andAHL.
The UNB Varsity Reds wish all their former coaches continuedsuccess in their pursuit of excellence.