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Convo with the Coach | Taylor Harnett

Over the next 12 weeks we’ll get to know the coaches from across the MJHL.

Dave Anthony asked all the coaches 12 questions and they shared their hockey history, how they got into coaching and a whole lot more.

We always get to hear their names, now let’s get to know the men behind the bench.

Taylor Harnett – Head Coach, Waywayseecappo Wolverines

DA: What’s your hockey background? Did you play?

TH: I grew up playing minor hockey in an area of Edmonton called Mill Woods up until Peewee and then graduated to the Southside athletic club (SSAC). I played some Jr “A” in Saskatchewan, WHL and ACAC college. I was also fortunate to attend an NHL training camp in 1995.

DA: How did you get into coaching?

TH: Somebody involved with the (SSAC)asked me if I would be interested in coaching as they were short a few coaches in their bantam program in 1997. So, I was able to grab a couple of my buddies and we had a blast. I ended up coaching for that organization at all different levels for many years.

DA: What do you remember feeling standing on the bench as a head coach for the first time?

TH: Very vague memories but I do remember how much I missed playing. Also, I remember realizing I did not know and remember that much about the game. Ha-ha

DA: What is your favorite or least favorite practice drill to run?

TH: Favorite drill to run would most likely be the “coaches challenge” it is more of a game, but we have a lot of fun with it. Least favorite drill would probably be ‘Board Rushes’. I feel it is a waste of time but sometimes necessary.

DA: Is there a trade you’ve made or player recruitment/signing that stands out to you as being one of the best moves you’ve ever made?

TH: We have recruited a lot of great players in the past few seasons that have put on the Wolverine uniform. It would not be fair to mention a favorite. As far as acquiring a player, the same would apply there. Although one player did come into our organization I will mention. That was Brody Moffatt. The reason I mention him was because he was the captain of the Winkler Flyers. And when he came to us, he did not wear a letter. But he led by example and with humility, he was a great teammate.

DA: Who from your past (either playing with or being coached by) would you say had a great influence or impact on you as a coach today?

TH: This is an interesting question because I have always been a head coach. But I look back on some of the coaches who had a positive and a negative impact on my life. I try to take something from all my experiences. I had a minor hockey coach by the name of Tom Hannah. I just remember he coached with equality and integrity. I still sometimes think back to certain tendencies that he had. The one thing that I remember about him was he always made me feel good and understood me as a person and player.  I have a lot of good friends in the coaching world, sometimes I rely on them for advice.  My good buddy Rylan Ferster is always willing to listen.

DA: Which former player stands out as one of your favorites to coach or to have around the rink every day?

TH: I would probably have to say Wolverines Associate coach, Josh Lee. I coached him at a young age, and I think that he probably understands me the best. Also, one player that really helped with my coaching transition here was former captain Jake Bestul. He was a true Wolverine and really took pride in wearing the uniform. He was a great captain and a great teammate.

DA: If you could coach an NHL team, which team would it be and why?

TH: If I were fortunate enough to put on a whistle in the National Hockey League, I would not have a preference. But I am an Edmonton Oilers fan.

DA: In a post-game interview, which question do you like answering the least?

TH: I think that it is important that fans hear from coaches and players before and after a win or a loss. I think when asked about the “officiating”. To me it is the most difficult, especially right after a loss. I think it is a question that a lot of coaches have a tough time answering.  Sometimes the emotions are not right for the best answer.

DA: Why do you like coaching for the organization you do?

TH: That is a well-rounded question. Coaching in Waywayseecappo for me is a privilege. I love the passion from the community. I also like the challenge. I am fortunate that the organization trusts in my ability moving forward and believing that we can put a team together that is truly capable of winning a championship one day.

DA: What do you like about the town/city you coach for?

TH: I love the people. I love the culture. I have lived here now since 2017 and some of my closest friends are now in this area. The valley is beautiful in the summer and nothing but hockey in the winter. It is a great place to call home.

DA: Who’s a current player on your team you feel deserves more attention from fans around the league?

TH: Reagan Rabbit. He is a great teammate, he is a great player, and he works his butt off.