New Hitmen Head Coach Steve Hamilton has an impressive resume. Have a look at some quick facts about the new bench boss.
Winning Ways: As an associate coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings, Hamilton helped guide the team to two WHL Championships in 2012 and 2014. In 2012, the Oil Kings finished with a 50-15-3-4 regular-season record and defeated the Portland Winterhawks in seven games to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup. In 2014, Edmonton would set a mark of 50-19-2-1 en route to defeating the Winterhawks again in seven games to capture the league championship a second time. The Oil Kings would then go on to win the Memorial Cup in 2014, beating the Guelph Storm in the final.
International Stage: In addition to his success at the WHL level, Hamilton has also coached internationally. He first appeared behind the bench came with Team Pacific in 2012 as an assistant coach at the World U17 Challenge. Team Pacific finished with a 4-1 record, good for fifth place. In 2013, Hamilton would serve as Head Coach for Team Pacific, leading them to a silver medal. This past season, Hamilton was an assistant coach for Team Canada in the World U18s.
Starting Point: Hamilton started his coaching career in the AJHL with the Fort Saskatchewan Traders, in a dual role of head coach and Director of Player Personnel. With a 37-20-3 mark, Hamilton would earn Coach of the Year honours. He would be named Coach of the Year on two more occasions with the Spruce Groove Saints in 2009 and 2010, winning the league championship in 2010. The 2010 Saints set records of fewest goals against with 99 and tied with the fewest losses in a season with four.
Teacher Mentality: Prior to coaching in the AJHL, Hamilton was a teacher and hockey instructor at Donnan Elementary/Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton. He brings 17 years of teaching experience in public school and 13 years of on-ice instructing with various age groups. His work in the dual role was what ultimately led to him to begin coaching junior hockey.
Lacing ’Em Up: Back in the ’90s Hamilton played hockey at Northern Michigan University. He spent three seasons with the Wildcats playing defence and was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team on three occasions. In 65 career games, Hamilton had 12 points, all assists.