HOCKEY ACADEMY STAFF

MEET THE STAFF WHO ARE DEVOTED TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

ROD COLLINS

PMHA GENERAL MANAGER

Coach Collins is from Pilot Mound, MB Canada where he grew up fine tuning his hockey skills. He is currently the General Manager of the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy. Rod was the Head Coach and GM of PMHA Male Buffaloes before stepping down this season to a full time role of General Manager.Before coming to Pilot Mound, he was the Head Coach of the Bellingham Junior Blazers U16 team.

He was also the GM of the Wenatchee Wild in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the Head Coach of the Wenatchee Wild U18 Hockey Program. He had been a head coach of boys hockey at Shattuck St. Mary’s for 10 years and was with the Notre Dame Hounds hockey program from 1989 to 1997. He has coached the game of hockey for 30 years.

He has also coached in the Manitoba (MJHL), Saskatchewan (SJHL) and BC (BCHL) Junior Leagues. Coach Collins has Level Five Certification through USA Hockey and Advanced Level with Hockey Canada. Rod has a B.A. degree in Education from Brandon University.

KYLE NIXON

MALE U15 PREP HEAD COACH

Kyle grew up and played minor hockey in Russell, MB. He graduated from Major Pratt High School and enrolled in the Faculty of Physical Education at the University of Manitoba. Kyle received his degree in Phys Ed and Education, receiving the gold medal for highest GPA. Most recently he finished a Master’s in Education “Coaching Studies” at the University of Victoria in BC. Kyle is also a Hockey Canada HP1 level certified coach.

Kyle’s coaching career began the same time as his teaching career at Stonewall Collegiate Institute. There is valuable experience at having coached and managed the high school hockey team at SCI for over a decade. Associated in a volunteer capacity with the WayWay Wolverines in the MJHL for one winter, and most recently/prominently have been a part of the Charleswood Hawks of the MMJHL, Kyle bring a wealth of experience to the coaching staff, working as an assistant coach for two seasons and Head Coach for five of the Charleswood Hawks of the MMJHL .

As a player, he was a member of the Pembina Valley Twisters for 4 seasons winning multiple scholarships, Defenceman of the Year in the MMJHL, and named one of the team’s top 10 all time players.

Moving forward as a coach and educator, the opportunity to coach the U15 Buffaloes at the academy and teach at PMCI are both very exciting opportunities and Kyle is looking forward to the challenge!

DANNY CARELS

MALE U15 PREP ASSISTANT COACH

Danny is a local fellow and brings with him the knowledge and experience of his coaching the AA Pembina West Bantam team for the past 5 years. Danny is part of the Carels & Carels Skill Development Camps and is a talented skills instructor.

He grew up in and continues to raise cattle at the farm near Cypress River. Danny is well known in the hockey world, having coached and played his minor hockey in Holland and later through out the area; finishing off his playing with the Swan Lake Cougars.

The PMHA U15 Student Athletes will benefit from his past hockey playing experiences and most certainly with his dedicated skill development coaching style.

RICK McCONNELL

MALE U17 PREP HEAD COACH

Rick is a native of Pilot Mound where he played his minor hockey. He went on to play four seasons with the Pembina Valley Hawks in the MB AAA Midget League, the Winkler Flyers of the MJHL and Pilot Mound Pilots of the THHL. McConnell began his coaching career in 1992 and most recently coached the AAA Bantam PV Hawks.

Some of his coaching highlights include coaching the PV Hawks AAA Midgets for 11 seasons, being quite successful and winning the League Championship in 1996. During that time he was selected to coach the Western AAA All Stars on 6 occasions. Several years were spent coaching his boys in minor hockey as well as helping lead the Pilot Mound Senior team to a League Championship. Rick also led the Midget Varsity Buffaloes to a CSSHL Championship in 2020. Currently, Rick scouts for the Neepawa Titans of the MJHL.

He looks forward to coaching in his home town and continuing to develop young hockey players. He lives in Pilot Mound with his wife Marcie and their two boys, Tyson and Carson. Rick is employed by the Prairie Spirit School Division.

ERNIE SUTHERLAND

MALE U17 PREP ASSISTANT COACH

Ernie is an Advanced II Level Coach with Hockey Canada. He is a veteran in the Coaching and Player Development Field, having spent 15 years as the Head, Associate and Asst Coach with the Winkler Flyers (MJHL). Ernie was the Asst. Coach (Russian Tour 1987 and the Head Coach at the Under 17 World Championships for Team Canada (Team West).

Sutherland’s coaching background also includes the head Coach of IMG Academies (Bradenton, FL.) and 10 years as a Guest Coach in Sweden. He has NHL experience as an Advanced Scout with the Minnesota North Stars and Philadelphia. Ernie was an assistant coach for the Midget Varsity Championship team in 2020.

BRAD PLATT

FEMALE U18 PREP CO-COACH

PMHA is also very excited to round out the coaching staff with more home-grown talent, as Brad works as the Head Coach for the Female Buffaloes. We are fortunate to have Brad on our female coaching staff as he is always busy promoting the team and recruiting. Brad enjoys and looks forward to being part of the Female Program, he is dedicated to the community and helps to continue to move this team forward. Brad played his entire minor hockey years in Pilot Mound and then moved on with the Selkirk Steelers and Southeast Blades. His coaching experience involves many levels of the game from minor hockey through to ``AAA`` teams, both male and female. Most recently, Brad coached the Shaftesbury Titans Female Prep team in Winnipeg.

CASSIDY CARELS

FEMALE U18 PREP CO-COACH

Cassidy is a well-known hockey player and coach in Southern Manitoba hockey area. Having played all of her minor hockey in Holland, she moved on to play for the Pembina Valley Midget Female AAA Midget team, winning Provincial Championships each year and winning the Esso Cup National Championship in the 2011/12 season. In 2012 she played with Team Manitoba and won silver at Nationals. In 2013, Cassidy played on the U18 Canadian National Team, winning gold at the Worlds. Cassidy attended Providence College on a D1 Scholarship where she obtained her education degree. After having been offered to play with the NWHL, Cassidy made the decision to return home to pursue her teaching career. Alongside teaching, she began her coaching career as the Assistant Coach of the Pembina Valley Hawks AAA Bantam team. PMHA is super excited to have her join the coaching staff, bringing her love of the game, knowledge of small community living and her coaching and teaching skills to the ice with Brad.

GORDIE TUMILSON

PMHA GOALIE COACH

Gordie Tumilson joins the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy group with years of experience as a player, goaltending coach and mentor. As a player, Gordie propelled his career all the way from youth hockey to the Winnipeg Jets (WHA), where he played from 1972-76. He captured an Avco World trophy at that that time.

Upon retirement from his playing days, Gordie immediately began passing on his knowledge and experience to younger goaltenders and their families. He has been training, teaching and mentoring goalies for the past 40 years. Gordie’s passion for helping young players and his ability to stay current with the latest techniques has made him a valuable asset to any goaltender or organization he works with.

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