By Lanny Stewart
It’s going to be hard to wipe the smile off Barry Wolff’s face for the foreseeable future.
The long-time junior A coach from western Canada was recently hired as the new GM and bench boss of the Swan Valley Stampeders – and so far, he’s enjoying every minute of it.
“I think it’s been a really good start for me here,” said the Kelowna product who has more than 20 years of junior hockey coaching experience, primarily in the BCHL. “I didn’t know a lot about the team before coming here. I did know a little about some of the players and I’m still getting to know the players and personnel. They’ve done a great job recruiting and I like where the team is at right now.”
Wolff, who was the head coach and GM of the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express from 2013-2017 – this included winning a league title during the 13-14 campaign – has seen first-hand what the MJHL has to offer over the years. The former head coach of the OCN Blizzard has spent time with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. On four separate occasions, he was a member of the coaching staff, helping the team win gold back in 2015.
“I’ve always seen the teams that have come out of here, whether it’s the Western Canada Cup or the RBC Cup and there’s been good, quality, hard-nosed, hard to play against teams. That’s the part I really like about the league,” he said.
Wolff describes himself as very competitive and he plans on drawing on past experiences to help him in his new post.
“It’s about taking these guys to the next level,” he said. “That’s why they’re here and that’s a big part of my job. I’ve learned how to handle different situations. You really get to learn how to manage people and understand people a little better and how to work with people because everybody is different. I’ve worked with a lot of different people in a positive way and I hope to bring that here.”
Wolff did his homework before heading to Swan River and says everything he’s heard thus far has been positive.
“I just packed up the truck and here I am,” he said with a smile. “It takes a lot of work to run these teams. There’s no secret there and I think they’ve done a great job.”
Wolff has numerous other accomplishments during his coaching career, including a BCHL championship win with the Surrey Eagles back in 2005.
The MJHL would like to officially welcome Barry back to the MJHL family!