The Braehead Clan today announced that the Great Britain National Team Head Coach Pete Russell will replace John Tripp for the 2018-19 season.
The 43-year-old Scot arrives after three years at Milton Keynes Lightning.
He takes over Braehead following Tripp’s unsuccessful spell at the club, after failing to reach the Elite League playoffs for the first time in the clubs history.
The clubs Operations Director Gareth Chalmers said at the time of Tripp’s departure, “Our aspirations are to be competing for silverware and not battling for a play-off spot. It has been bitterly disappointing for this organisation to finish ninth in the league, miss out on the play-offs and not retain the Gardiner Conference title.”
“The club will now focus on ensuring that we appoint a new head coach promptly that will allow us to start building a competitive and exciting team for the 2018-19 season.”
Now the club have turned to Russell, and he admits that he could have succeeded Ryan Finnerty last year before Tripp was given the job.
“I’ve been away from Scotland for a long time and I almost got the chance to come last year, but the timing wasn’t right for me and my family,” he said.
“Coming from the West of Scotland, coming to the Clan is a dream move for me. My mum and dad live 35 miles from the rink and I’ve got family in Glasgow so selfishly, it wasn’t something I could turn down.
“For me, it’s about building relationships with the fans and getting the players and fans together with an exciting, hardworking, blue collar, brand of hockey, which is what Glasgow is all about.
“I want to bring people into the arena and help get them off their seats. When that building gets going, it can be a cauldron and I’m excited to join the Clan.”
Russell achieved success with the national team, with whom he took over in 2015, including a gold medal at last year’s World Championships.
He’s also coached the Bracknell Bees, Slough Jets and Swindon Wildcats in the EPL winning the playoffs and cup on two separate occasions.
Clan’s Hockey and Operations Director said bringing Russell in was about appointing a coach with connections to the league and the city, “We thought it was very important to appoint someone who is well established in the British game, someone who not only knows the EIHL but also has a strong connection to Glasgow.”
“In appointing Pete, we have the Clan’s first ever Scottish head coach, someone who already understands the demands of being head coach of a Glasgow sports team.
“After discussions with Pete it was very apparent that he shares the passion of the Purple Army in competing for major trophies.
“Work is already well underway for the 2018/19 season and Pete has already started the process on recruiting his main targets.”
Picture Credit: Dean Woolley