After an extensive search, the Bisons men’s hockey program has its successor to long-time head coach Mike Sirant.
Gordon Burnett, a 42-year-old Regina native, was appointed on June 1, following Sirant’s retirement this past spring after over 30 years of service as a player, assistant and head coach.
“Pending approval of the Board of Governors, we are pleased to announce Gordon as head coach of the Bisons men’s hockey program in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management,” said Dr. Douglas Brown, Dean of the faculty. “Mr. Burnett spent the 2020-2023 seasons as the assistant coach with the Moose Jaw Warriors and the 2019-20 season with the Winnipeg Blues. We are excited for Mr. Burnett to join the faculty, the University of Manitoba and Bison Sports.”
Burnett has been around hockey his entire life, as a player and coach.
As a defenceman, he played pro in the ECHL and Central Hockey League (CHL) from 2006-2013. Prior to that, he earned Bachelor of Arts (Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services) and Master of Arts (Organizational Development) degrees from the College of St. Scholastica (Minnesota), while playing over 100 games for the Saints’ NCAA program. He also obtained his teaching diploma from the University of New Brunswick.
Additionally, Burnett laced up the skates at the junior hockey level in Saskatchewan, playing over 160 games between the Melville Millionaires and Notre Dame Hounds.
As a coach, Burnett has over a decade of experience. He’s noted as a great communicator with proven experience developing players.
From 2012-14, he was an assistant coach for the Arizona Sundogs in the CHL, and followed that up with a season as assistant coach for the University of Notre Dame in the NCAA. Beginning in 2015, he spent four seasons as an assistant in the WHL for the Kootenay Ice. Along the way, he earned head coaching duties for Team Saskatchewan at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, where the group advanced to the medal round.
Overall, Burnett has been a part of three different provincial team staffs, and since 2018 he’s been NCCP certified as a skills coach for Hockey Canada, serving on multiple U17 developmental rosters as an assistant coach.
In 2019-20, Burnett was named head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues, leading the program to the playoffs. Over the last three years, he’s been a member of Mark O’ Leary’s staff with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, where the team earned consecutive Eastern Conference semi-final appearances in 2022 and 2023.
“Joining the University of Manitoba Bisons as the head coach of the hockey program is an absolute honour. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with student-athletes and contribute to their growth and success, both on and off the ice,” he said.
“I recognize the rich legacy and storied history of the University of Manitoba’s hockey program and I’m excited to build upon its foundation. I have a vision that encompasses fostering a culture of teamwork, resilience and continued improvement. We will strive for excellence in every aspect of our game, on and off the ice. I am dedicated to providing our student-athletes with a supportive environment that nurtures growth as athletes, scholars and individuals.”