Falcons make coaching changes

The St. Catharines Falcons have made several changes to their coaching and hockey operations staff in advance of the GOJHL 2018-19 season.

Former Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald has been replaced by General Manager Frank Girhiny, who will retain his General Managing duties as well.

“Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald and the St. Catharines Falcons have mutually decided to part ways for the upcoming 2018-19 GOJHL Season,” said Girhiny. “I would like to thank Dan for a job well done and appreciate his support. We wish Dan all the success and luck in his future coaching endeavours.”

Entering his seventh season with the Falcons as their General Manager, Girhiny has lead the Falcons to five consecutive GOJHL Golden Horseshoe Final. In addition to capturing the conference crown twice, Girhiny lead their Falcons to their first Sutherland Cup Championship in 2012. He was also General Manager for the Thorold Blackhawks first and only Sutherland Cup in 2005. Girhiny has coached in the GOJHL All Star games in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

A High Performance Certified Coach, Girhiny has also coached in the Ontario Hockey League with the Niagara Ice Dogs as an assistant. He has an extensive minor hockey back ground where he coached two Minor Midget teams to the OHL Cup. In the two years Girhiny coached Minor Midget, he had 15 players drafted to the Ontario Hockey League. The Niagara Falls native has worked in hockey for many years. The current Molson Coors Sales rep worked for the Professional Hockey Players Association as well worked as a Pro Rep with Bauer Hockey, where he worked partnerships with NCAA D1 programs in the Hockey East and ECAC. Frank and his wife Jeannie reside in Thorold and have a daughter, Chantal and two sons Frankie and Christian.

Rounding out the coaching staff is newcomer Chris McLean, who previously played for Girhiny in their Sutherland Cup win in 2005.

McLean won a Sutherland Cup with the Thorold Jr. B Blackhawks before playing four years at Brock University as an Academic All Canadian while making one appearance at the CIS National Championships in 2008. McLean has been coaching in the Niagara region for 6 years accumulating an OHF Silver medal, OMHA Gold medal, two OMHA Bronze medals, and a SOSSA Championship with Lakeshore Catholic High School. McLean also assisted the Brock University Men’s Hockey team as the Defenseman Development Coach in 2016-2017 season.

“We are excited to have Chris on our staff,” said Girhiny. “I recruited Chris to play for the Thorold Blackhawks and he was instrumental in helping us win a Sutherland Cup. Chris understands the game, was very good at his craft and is a teacher by trade! He has the total package and is a very effective coach!”

McLean is currently employed with the Niagara Catholic District School Board as the Niagara Link teacher located out of Niagara College. McLean is excited to join the St.Catharines Jr. B Falcons as an assistant coach for the 2018-2019 season.

Director of Player Personnel Greg Cappellaro has been promoted to Assistant General Manager. Cappellaro will serve both roles for the upcoming season.