Hartsburg coach connection

July 14, 2017

Two recently hired head coaches in the Ontario Hockey League — Jay Varady of the Kingston Frontenacs and Chris Hartsburg of the Erie Otters — were once together as assistant coaches under Craig Hartsburg with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.

The 39-year old Varady was introduced as Kingston’s new bench boss on Thursday, just a few weeks after the 37-year old Hartsburg was hired as the headmaster in Erie.

Ironically, both coached in the United States Hockey League in 2016-2017 — Varady with the Sioux City Muskateers and Hartsburg with the Lincoln Stars.

And before that — back during the 2009-2010 season — Varady and Hartsburg were assistants with Everett of the WHL under the elder Hartsburg, who is Chris’s father.

Now 58-years old and retired from coaching after a distinguished 27-year career behind benches in the OHL, WHL and the National Hockey League, Hartsburg has good memories of when his son and Varady were his assistants that 2009-2010 season in Everett.

“I had a blast working with both Jay and Chris in Everett,” Hartsburg relayed to HockeyNewsNorth.com. “It is ironic that Jay and Chris are both in the OHL now as head coaches.”

Hartsburg — who now makes his year-round home just outside Sault Ste. Marie in Echo Bay, Ont. — gave his thumbs up to Kingston for its hiring of Varady.

“Very bright coach and an awesome person,” Hartsburg exclaimed, when asked about Varady. “Good hire by Kingston.”

PHOTO: Jay Varady, new coach of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. (Photo by Ian MacAlpine/Postmedia.)

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