The Brandon U17 AAA Wheat Kings recently announced the appointment of Dylan Halliday as the new head coach for the 2023/24 season. Halliday is no stranger to the program, as he spent some time behind the bench last season as an assistant coach with the organization. “I was asked by Chad Michalchuk to help him out and it was an incredible first introduction into coaching. Both Chad and Dave (Newman) were very open to any ideas me or Jackson had, and we owe a lot to both of those guys.” Halliday told bdnmb.ca about his role last season with the team. Prior to making the transition behind the bench, Halliday spent 4 seasons with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Caps as a player.
“I knew I wanted to coach for real near the end of last year. As our team started to make a push for the playoffs and eventually go on a bit of a run to the finals I knew I was hooked. The excitement the players and parents brought during that playoff run was enough for me to know that I need to keep doing this.” said Halliday about why he elected to apply for the head coaching position. “Brought me back to playing and that feeling you get the night before a game where you just can’t wait for the games to start. it’s an unexplainable feeling.”
As a first time head coach, Halliday believes he brings a lot to the table. “I bring a true love for the game to coaching. When I’m not at the rink I’m usually at home watching the games on tv or watching highlights. I watched a lot of tape during our teams playoff run and its something I truly love”.
In the days following his appointment, the organization also announced that Jackson Orr and Carter Sawchuk would be rounding out the coaching staff this year as assistant coaches. ‘My assistants are no exception, we are all hockey obsessed, and we are just very excited to get started”.
While the exact dates for training camp are not yet known, Halliday expects to ice a very competitive team this season. “I know that game in game out we will be the most prepared team and we hope that puts us in the best spot to succeed. This program took a big step last year making it to the final but we were handled pretty easily by Winnipeg in that series. So now it’s time to try and take that next step and see if we can make those Winnipeg teams sweat a little bit.”