“I had told myself that I was probably done coaching at this level but then the phone rang and I couldn’t say no to being associated with these guys again.” — Dave Clancy.
A good, old grizzled coach with a winning past is returning to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season.
Dave Clancy has signed on with the Rayside Balfour Canadians as an associate coach alongside head coach Vagelli Sakellaris.
One of the good guys of the game, the 58-year old Clancy did not coach during the abbreviated 2020-2021 season after a two-year gig with the Espanola Express that included him being named NOJHL coach of the year for the 2019-2020 campaign.
“I wanted to coach but I won’t leave the Sudbury area and because of that, there aren’t that many options out there and I know I was limiting myself,” Clancy told Hockey News North with a chuckle. “So, I had told myself that I was probably done coaching at this level but then the phone rang and I couldn’t say no to being associated with these guys again.”
By “these guys” Clancy was referring to Rayside Balfour owner Mark Burgess, Canadians managing director Blaine Smith and the aforementioned Vagelli Sakellaris.
Clancy was the coach of the erstwhile Sudbury Junior Wolves when they won the NOJHL title a dozen years ago with Burgess as the owner and Smith as team president. And Clancy was a scout for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League when Burgess was the owner and Smith was his chief lieutenant.
As well, when Clancy was previously with Rayside Balfour as its general manager and coach from 2016 to 2018, Sakellaris was his assistant coach for much of that time.
Now, Clancy is back with Rayside Balfour for another go around and Canadians general manager Jeff Forsyth is happy with the arrangement.
“It doesn’t happen very often when a team has the ability to add an accomplished and decorated coach with Dave’s resume,” relayed Forsyth. “Vagelli and Dave have worked together in the past and are very familiar with each other’s coaching styles, which will serve our players with a first class experience.”
And quite simply, Clancy is glad to be coaching again without having to leave home.
“Obviously, I am really excited to join this organization and have the opportunity to work with this group of people that are dedicated to bringing a championship to this community,” Clancy added. “After seeing what the players went through last season, I am looking forward to returning to a new normal that will allow the players to play the game that they love. I also look forward to working with our players on their development as junior hockey players.”