The Niagara IceDogs are sorry to announce the departure of assistant coach Jason Brooks from the IceDogs organization. Brooks spent the previous two seasons with the IceDogs after starting his OHL coaching career in Guelph.
The decision to leave was made by Brooks who had surgery on his back in March.
"Ultimately the decision was based around the uncertainty of my back" said Brooks. "The surgery in March was unexpected and had nothing to do with my previous back surgery, which made it all that much more concerning."
Brooks will not only be leaving the IceDogs, but coaching altogether, as he returns home to Listowel where he will join the family business.
"The family business at home has been growing," mentioned Brooks. "When I had to have the surgery, my dad asked me what I thought about coming back to work for the business and it just seemed to make sense."
IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson wishes Brooks was not leaving, but understands his decision given the circumstances.
"First and foremost, I can't thank Jason enough for his time here and he will be missed" said Williamson when asked about Brooks departure. "I certainly understand his decision and we all wish him all the best with the family business."
The decision to leave coaching was not an easy one for Brooks. "I loved coaching. I had two of the best and most fun years of my life in Niagara working with Marty, Billy, Joey, Ricky, Peter and Ben. Bill and Denise have created a first class organization with great people and it is like a family. That is the hardest part of leaving is the personal relationships and friendships I've developed. Working for Marty was great because not only is he a great coach, but also a great friend."
While Brooks is leaving his position as an assistant coach, he will never forget his time in Niagara. "I always will consider myself to be an IceDog and I look forward to watching the IceDogs bring home their first OHL Championship and Memorial Cup in the near future."
When asked about a possible replacement for Brooks Williamson stated that he has some candidates in mind and will take some time to make a final decision.
The entire IceDogs organization would like to thank Jason for a great two years with the organization and we will always be happy to consider him as an IceDog.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)