Whalers Hire Inaugural General Manager & Coaching Staff

Fergus, Ontario – The Fergus Whalers made a big ‘splash’ last week, and introduced the first ever General Manager, coaching staff and Alternate Governor at the CW Sportsplex on Tuesday night!

Craig Dool, a lifelong Guelph resident, has stepped into the role of General Manager for the Inaugural 2023-2024 Season.  Dool, who has been around the game his entire life, has strong ties with in the area to the local minor hockey and high school hockey programs,  played the game at the Junior level, and coached the former Fergus Devils in their final season!

“This is a great community, I was a part of this community a few years ago with another team, and I’ve been apart of Guelph minor hockey a long time, and I am just glad kids have a place to play – we have a lot of support, a great community around us, and great guys working together to build this program”

Taking the reins on the bench is no stranger to the Centre-Wellington area, and we proudly welcome Ryan Black to the team.  Black, 49, originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft has an extensive hockey background, both playing professionally, and coaching at a high level locally.

“Team President, Jason Baier said “when looking for a head coach, we were looking for someone with a great resume, understanding of the game, who has played at all levels, and is strong within the community and we are honoured to announce Ryan Black as the first ever Head Coach in Whalers history”

Black, who resides in Fergus and works locally for the municipality said “We want to create a positive identity and a good culture for the players to come in and play here, and that’s going to be done through the coaching staff with core values, and we are really excited to be here tonight, and to get rolling”

GM Craig Dool added “You couldn’t ask for a better guy to be on the bench for this hockey team, that guy (Blackie) will put everything into this team, and we couldn’t ask for much more than that”

Joining Ryan on the bench are assistant coaches Randy Coverdale, Mark Martin and Jeff Hoelscher.  Each one of these gentlemen brings a wealth of knowledge, hockey successes and will contribute to the success of our hockey team immediately.

Hoelscher added when speaking to 519 Sports “It’s something the community has needed, we have had a lot of good hockey players come out of this community and have to travel great distances to play junior hockey and it’s a great oppourtunity to get the crowd base back in town, and enjoy hockey on a Sunday afternoon locally”

Rounding out last Tuesday’s exciting announcements was the hiring of Alternate Governor, Ryan Duck.  Duck, 29, has been with the team since it’s inception 6 months ago, and looks after the day to day business side of the team.  In his role as Alternate Governor, Ryan will be responsible for a wide variety of duties with in the club, including attending PJHL meetings, building an Executive team, and ensuring the game day experience is top notch for people attending our games! Ducky, as he is affectionately known to those around him, joins the team after successful seasons with both the GOJHL’s Stratford Warriors, and winning the 2021 Pollock Division Championship with the Mitchell Hawks (PJHL).

“I couldn’t be more excited to be apart of this organization.  When Jason mentioned the idea to me a year ago, I jumped on the oppourtunity right away – to be able to say you helped build something like this is so cool to me.  Now, we have a logo, we have an identity, we have a GM, we have a coach, but most importantly, each day we are seeing the support from the CW community intensify – there is so much pride in this community”

The Whalers are looking are to begin assembling an Executive Committee.  If you or someone you may know is looking to get involved, please reach out to Ryan at rduck@ferguswhalers.ca