Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mark Reeds Named OHL Coach of the Year

Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Owen Sound Attack Head Coach Mark Reeds is the 2010-11 recipient of the Matt Leyden Trophy for OHL Coach of the Year.

Reeds led the Attack to their best regular season finish in franchise history with a record of 46-17-1-4 for 97 points to lead the OHL’s Western Conference. The 2010-11 campaign is the first time the Attack have ever finished first in the Conference while also capturing their first ever Holody Trophy as Midwest Division Champions.

“It is an honour being recognized by your peers in this fashion,” said Reeds. “I am very humbled knowing there were many qualified candidates for this award.”

Reeds is the organization’s first Matt Leyden Trophy winner since the club moved to Owen Sound from Guelph in the 1989-90 season. Jacques Martin is the franchise’s only other winner in 29 seasons capturing the award back in 1985-86 for the OHL and Memorial Cup Champion Guelph Platers in his only season as an OHL Head Coach before moving to the NHL.

“Since Mark arrived in 2007, he has shown to be a tremendous asset to this organization,” said Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “When he arrived here, we had a set agenda and goals. Mark has worked extremely hard to achieve those goals and deliver a winning product on the ice and a winning program off the ice. Mark is very deserving of this honour and as an organization we are very happy for him.”

A 51-year-old native of Toronto, ON, Reeds just completed his fourth season behind the bench for the Attack and is the club’s second longest serving coach behind Mike Stothers who spent five seasons as Head Coach in Owen Sound before Reeds. Prior to joining the Attack, Reeds spent 15 years coaching pro hockey beginning his Head Coaching career in 1996-97 with the ECHL’s Peoria Rivermen where he also served as an Assistant Coach for four seasons. He also coached eight seasons in the UHL between the Missouri River Otters and the Kalamazoo Wings where he won the league title in 2005-06. As a player, Reeds played four OHL seasons and was a three-time OHL Champion with the Peterborough Petes from 1978-80 capturing the Memorial Cup in 1979. He was selected 86th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft and played 365 NHL games collecting 159 points.

The Matt Leyden Trophy is voted on by the member teams of the Ontario Hockey League. In a first round of balloting, teams vote for the top coaches, within their own conference. The top three nominees from both the Eastern and Western conferences are declared as finalists. A second round of voting is then conducted on a league wide basis where teams vote for any of the six finalists. At no time during the voting can a team vote for their own candidate. Coaches receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote and one point for a third place vote.

Reeds finished with 60 points in the voting process just ahead of Dave Cameron of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors who received 56 points. 2006-07 award winner Michael Vellucci of the Plymouth Whalers finished third in voting with 20 points.

The Matt Leyden Trophy has been awarded annually since 1972 in recognition of the contributions of Matt Leyden, past President of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1965-1967. The Oshawa native was honored as a lifetime member of the OHA in 1972.

Last season Dale Hunter of the London Knights became just the second OHL coach to win the award three times behind five-time winner Brian Kilrea of the Ottawa 67’s. Bert Templeton (Hamilton and North Bay), Terry Crisp (Sault Ste. Marie), George Burnett (Niagara Falls), Gary Agnew (London), Craig Hartsburg (Guelph and Sault Ste. Marie), Peter DeBoer (Plymouth), and Bob Boughner (Windsor) have each won the award twice.

Reeds will be formally presented with the award at the 2010-11 OHL Awards Ceremony taking place Wednesday June 8 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and will also be the OHL’s nominee for the Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

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