Warriors extend contracts for head coach O’Leary and hockey operations staff


Assistants Scott King and Gord Burnett, Goalie Coach Matt Weninger, Athletic Therapist Brooke Kosolofski, Equipment Director Tanner Arnold all sign new deals

With the way things turned out for the Moose Jaw Warriors at the start of the season and the potential for big things to come, the Western Hockey League team decided to lock down their operations staff from hockey in the near future.

The Warriors announced Tuesday that head coach Mark O’Leary, assistant coaches Scott King and Gord Burnett, goalies coach Matt Weninger, athletic therapist Brooke Kosolofski and equipment director Tanner Arnold all had signed extra time with the club, adding crucial stability to the team’s training. and support staff.

“They deserve it with what we’re doing here,” said Warrior general manager Jason Ripplinger. “They’ve all been together for a few years and we all trust each other so it was the right decision for this group of players.”

The Warriors are currently 2-1-0-0 this season and have appeared to be part of a team poised to fight for a place in the playoffs and beyond. Maintaining that initial momentum and only moving forward will be essential for the remainder of the campaign, and having a crew familiar with the players and vice versa will be essential.

“I think these players feel comfortable with the coaching staff and our coaching staff feel comfortable with the players, so a change doesn’t make sense to me,” said Ripplinger. “I think something good is going on here and these are the right guys to lead us.”

This is O’Leary’s 10th season with the Warriors, including his second full season as a head coach. He joined the Warriors in 2012-13 as an assistant coach, was promoted to associate coach in 2018-19 and took over as head coach in the middle of 2019-20.

King is in his seventh season with the Warriors. He joined the organization’s coaching staff as a skills coach in 2015-16 and was promoted to assistant coach in 2016-17.

Burnett is entering his second season with the Warriors. Previously, he was head coach of the Winnipeg Blues (MJHL) in 2019-2020, worked as an assistant coach with the Kootenay ICE from 2015 to 2019 and the NCAA University of Notre Dame from 2014 to 2015.

Weninger is entering his fifth season as the Warriors goaltender coach. In addition to his role with the Warriors, he is currently the Southern Regional Director of Hockey Alberta and was on the Hockey Canada staff at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Championship which won a gold medal.

Kosolofski is entering his ninth season with the Warriors. He joined the organization in the middle of the 2012-13 season. Previously, he worked with the Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL), the University of Lethbridge men’s hockey team and the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame.

Arnold is entering his third season with the Warriors. He was with the team in 2017-18 and joined the Warriors for the 2021 Eastern Division Hub. Previously, Arnold worked with the Calgary Stampeders in 2014, Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL) in 2015-17 and the Kindersley Klippers in 2019-2020.

The Warriors are back in action tonight when they host the Prince Albert Raiders. Game time is 7 p.m. at Mosaic Place and fans are reminded to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test from the past 72 hours.

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