Gylywoychuk new Brandon Wheat Kings coach
KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
|On Wednesday afternoon, the Wheat Kings announced that longtime assistant Dwayne Gylywoychuk was taking over as head coach from Cory Clouston, who was relieved of his duties after only one season.
The Brandon Wheat Kings are promoting from within.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Wheat Kings announced that longtime assistant Dwayne Gylywoychuk was taking over as head coach from Cory Clouston, who was fired after only one season.
“It was a dream come true for me,” Gylywoychuk, who grew up in Transcona and joined the Wheat Kings as a player in 1989, said in a telephone interview. “It’s something I’ve been working towards for the last while. For me, to get the news was very exciting.”
Gylywoychuk, 39, spent five seasons with the Wheat Kings as a rugged blue-liner (until 1993-94) and still holds the franchise record for most games played (323).
Upon his graduation from the Western Hockey League, Gylywoychuk played professionally for seven more seasons before hanging up the blades.
In 2003-04, he rejoined the Wheat Kings as an assistant coach under Mike Kelly and has been part of the organization ever since. Gylywoychuk had been considered for the top job on several occasions, but was passed over for other candidates by general manager and owner Kelly McCrimmon.
“You know what, I didn’t really know which way it was going to go,” said Gylywoychuk, who suffered a serious back injury nearly two years ago that kept him off the bench for several months. “I know Kelly is not that far removed from coaching. It was a process I knew was going to take time. I waited my time and got the news.
“There was a little bit of relief.”
Gylywoychuk, who was given a multi-year deal, called his parents shortly thereafter and reflected on where the journey began.
“I remember leaving Winnipeg at 16 to come to Brandon as a player and now to be able to have an opportunity to lead the Wheat Kings organization is quite exciting,” he explained. “I look forward to the challenge and to getting started.
McCrimmon confirmed via text message that he gave some serious thought to returning to the bench himself, but ultimately thought the time was right for Gylywoychuk to take the reigns.
“This is an opportunity that Dwayne has earned,” he said in a press release.
Winnipegger Darren Ritchie will return for his sixth season as an assistant coach. The Wheat Kings season begins on Sept. 21.