Fighting Falcons Name Bill Warren Head Coach
PORT HURON, MI - The Port Huron Fighting Falcons will come back from their holiday break as a very different team, as they today filled their head coaching vacancy. Bill Warren, who coached last weekend's games in Flint on an interim basis, has been hired to guide the team through the remainder of this season.
Warren had been the head coach at Port Huron Northern, in the most competitive high school league in Michigan, for the past six seasons before accepting the Fighting Falcons job. The PHN graduate had led the Huskies to a 4-4 record in the early stages of their season. Warren also coaches in the Honeybaked AAA organization and scouted for five years in the Ontario Hockey Association with the Strathroy Rockets.
The coaching position was left vacant after Ernie and Shane Hicke were relieved of their positions with the team last Friday. The Fighting Falcons were just 1-24-1 under the Hickes, and majority owner Maribeth Hayes decided to make a change before the three-week holiday break.
Warren says he's up to the challenge he's been presented with and looks forward to showing fans the level of hockey they hoped for when the team was first brought to town this summer.
In two games as interim coach, Warren's Fighting Falcons showed improvement, setting a team record with six goals in Friday's 8-6 loss to the Michigan Warriors at Perani Arena. Saturday night the team set another record, as they were whistled for just five penalties, the lowest mark of the season. That game resulted in a 3-1 loss, but the team's play was encouraging, as they held the Warriors scoreless over the game's final 51 minutes
Ernie Hicke's departure also left the General Manager position open, which will be filled by former Assistant Coach Marty Haddad. Haddad will also serve as the team's Associate Head Coach. A Port Huron native, Haddad has been involved with the Fighting Falcons since training camp, and will take over player personnel decisions while also running the day-to-day operations in the front office.
Port Huron native Chad Noetzel will become the team's new strength and conditioning coach, and Todd Churchill of Marysville will keep his position as the team's goaltender coach and equipment manager.
"I can't speak highly enough of our players for the way they've handled this tough situation," said Haddad. "It would have been easy for them to not be at their best over the weekend and every guy out there played hard and gave it everything they had. Coach Warren and I are extremely excited about the new roles we're taking on and we look forward to putting a better product on the ice when we come back in January."
The Fighting Falcons will have time to regroup, as they do not return to the ice until Thursday, January 7 when they host the Michigan Warriors at McMorran Arena. Tickets start at just $8 and are available at the McMorran Arena Box Office.Call (810) 966-3800 for more information.
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