Saginaw Spirit confirmed this morning what HockeyNewsNorth.com was first to report on Sunday — Troy Smith is the new head coach of the Ontario Hockey League team.
The 39-year old Smith takes over as Saginaw’s bench boss after Spencer Carbery recently departed after one season to become an assistant coach with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.
Spirit general manager Dave Drinkill said Smith is what Saginaw was looking for in its new head coach.
“When looking for a new coach we had criteria we wanted our new coach to meet and Troy checked off all the boxes,” said Drinkill. “He is a person of high character, is an excellent communicator, and is extremely detailed, prepared, and hardworking.
“Troy’s experience as a player and a coach in the OHL set him apart from the rest of the candidates,” added Drinkill. “He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our staff and to the young group of talented players we have assembled the past few seasons. I am excited to work with Troy as we continue to build and develop through the draft and stay focused on our current path.”
A four-year OHLer as a defenseman with the Detroit/Plymouth Whalers, Smith went on to play five seasons at St. Francis Xavier University. After a brief minor pro career, Smith returned to the OHL as a coach and has since put up a decade of experience behind the bench.
After seven seasons as an assistant coach in Kitchener, Smith was promoted to head coach of the Rangers before being let go after two years as bench boss.
Smith has since spent a season-and-a-half as an associate coach with the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
PHOTO: Saginaw general manager Dave Drinkill and new Spirit head coach Troy Smith. (Photo by Saginaw Spirit.)