meet our staff
Meet the people who are devoted to training excellence!
Rod Collins - GM - Female Head Coach
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.
Rick McConnell - 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. Currently, Rick scouts for the Neepawa Natives 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 - 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.
Brad Platt - Female Assistant Coach
His playing experience includes: -Pilot Mound Pilots -Selkirk Steelers -Southeast Blades -Minor hockey in Pilot Mound His coaching experiences include: -Shaftesbury Titans Female Prep -AAA Pembina Valley Female Midget Hawks -AAA Pembina Valley Male Midget Hawks -Carman Minor Hockey -Carman Beavers
Gordie Tumilson - 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.