Muckalt Appointed Coach of NAHL Expansion Team Published on 3/28/2010 11:40:00 AM
By: Brent Maranto
After just one season at the helm of the Valencia Flyers, Bill Muckalt is moving on to the next level, as Friday he was named the Head Coach of an NAHL expansion team.
The unnamed squad will begin play in the Tier II North American Hockey League in the fall and will call the 6,000 seat Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico its home.
Muckalt departs after just one season with the Flyers, in which he guided a young team to a 23-21-5 record and a fifth place finish in the WSHL Western Division. The eight-year NHL veteran worked closely with all of his players and enhanced them not only as skaters but more importantly as people. After starting slow, the Flyers began to get into Muckalt’s system and it showed, as the team won 10 of 11 games from December to January, pulling them within four points of a playoff spot. Thanks in large part to Muckalt many of the 2009-2010 Valencia Flyers will be moving onto the NAHL and many other levels of hockey in the upcoming season. The former two-time NCAA Division I Champion and Hobey Baker Runner-up while playing for the University of Michigan, will bring passion and knowledge of the game unsurpassed by none to the arena every night and will surely become one of the premier coaches in the league.
Not only is the promotion a great opportunity for Muckalt but the team will also have strong ties to the Valencia Flyers. The owner of the franchise, Ken Dennis, is a Southern California resident and father of former Flyers’ defenseman Casey Dennis. With two prominent figures running the club who have strong ties to the Valencia Flyers organization, odds are you’ll see a few Flyers end up in New Mexico for the 2010-2011 season.
The Flyers and General Manager Scott Allegrini will work to fill the coaching vacancy in the upcoming months and look forward to another great season of Flyers hockey in the fall. They wish Coach Muckalt all the best in his new venture and thank him for all he has given to the organization.