CALGARY, ALTA., (May 3, 2019) – The SAIT Trojans have named Tyler Drader the new head coach of their storied men's hockey program.
The former head coach and general manager of the Alberta Junior Hockey League's (AJHL) Calgary Mustangs (2017-19), will be tasked with leading the Trojans back to being one of the most dominant teams in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) – a league they have been a part of for more than five decades.
"My family has lived in Calgary a long time and I am very familiar with the SAIT Trojans, so I am honoured and proud to have been given this opportunity," stated Drader, who brings nearly 20 years of coaching experience with him. "At the end of the day, this is a great program, and I just want to help build on that."
Drader takes over for Brent Devost, who resigned after just one year with the Trojans in which he led them to a difficult Game 3 loss in their ACAC semifinal series against NAIT.
Falling short of the main prize has been something that has plagued SAIT since they last won the ACAC title in 2014.
"We are extremely excited to be adding Tyler Drader to our team of high-performing coaches here at SAIT," said Wade Kolmel, SAIT's Athletics and Recreation Director. "On top of his extensive head coaching career, he has shown the ability to grow a program, and we trust he will be able to restore the Trojans back to the top of the ACAC."
With the Mustangs, Drader saw his teams get better in each of his three seasons – including going from eight wins in his first season (where he took over halfway through the year) to 24 the next when he was named a Coach of the Year finalist.
This past campaign, he led the team to a 29-22-9 mark to secure the second-highest point total in organization history. His team eventually fell in Round 1 of the post-season 3-2 to the Camrose Kodiaks in a tough best-of-five series.
The Trojans expect to bring back 15 players from last season's team, leaving spots open for new recruits to come in and fill several gaps. Two big holes have been left by the departure of captain Dean Allison, who led the ACAC in scoring this past year, and goalie Payton Lee, who was the team's starting goalie the past two years.
"Basically, I'm looking for smart hockey players who have skill and are team-first guys," Drader stated. "I've had some conversations already with some players who I think would be good Trojans, so my summer is going to be busy as I find out who will be back and what else we need to be successful. I'm looking forward to it."