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Tomlinson Named Head Coach

May 29, 2003 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Lubbock Cotton Kings News Release



LUBBOCK, TX: May 29, 2003 – Lubbock Cotton Kings of the Central Hockey League announced today the hiring of Kirk Tomlinson as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations of the ‘Kings. Tomlinson steps in as the fourth head coach in the ‘Kings history.

“This has been a lengthy search with many top notch candidates vying for the position, but through it all, Tomlinson was our man,” said Cotton Kings General Manager Mark Adams. “Tomlinson is a coach that brings us youth and experience, and he always presents a physical intimidating presence with his teams.”

Tomlinson, a 35 year-old native of Tottenham, Ontario, brings six years of professional coaching experience and five seasons serving as a head coach. His professional coaching record over his five seasons has combined for a winning record of 174 wins, 131 losses, and 31 overtime losses (56.4%) in 336 games. Tomlinson last coached in the United Hockey League (UHL) with the Flint Generals, where he went 63-46-6 (57.3%) in 121 games. He led the Generals to a 42-26-6 record in his first season in Flint during the 01/02 season, but resigned midway through last season after 21-20-6 start. During the 01/02 season, Tomlinson’s last full season of coaching, the Flint squad posted a 25-8-4 home record (ranked 3rd in the league), led the league in goals scored on the road and established a 34-1-1 record when leading after 2 periods of play. They were a balanced squad that led the league in shot differential with a potent offense that ranked 2nd in the league in goals and a stingy defense that ranked 5th in goals allowed. Tomlinson’s coaching career began during the 97/98 season as an assistant coach with the Quad City Mallards of the UHL, who claimed the Colonial Cup that season. He was promoted the following season to a head coaching position but in a different league, as he was introduced as the inaugural head coach of the Colorado Gold Kings of the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL). In three seasons with the Colorado Gold Kings, Tomlinson tallied a 111-85-19 record. His final season in Colorado (00/01) produced a 42-21-9 mark, good enough for a second place finish in the WCHL’s Northern Division. The WCHL honored Tomlinson by awarding him the league’s “Coach of the Year” honor. Tomlinson has not missed the playoffs in any of the four full seasons as a head coach.

“This is a great situation for my family and myself,” said Tomlinson. “ Lubbock has such a strong fan base and the organization is strong which presents a fortunate situation to surround myself around. The ownership, the organization, and I all have positive views of today’s game of hockey and we want to make the game better. I think it is important to surround myself around good people and I don’t think there is a better core of people to surround myself around than Lubbock, and I mean that from the organization to the fans and the city itself.”

Tomlinson’s professional playing career spanned 266 games through 8 seasons. A 4th round draft selection (75th overall) of the Minnesota North Stars in the 1986 NHL Draft, Tomlinson played his first professional hockey game with the North Stars during the 87/88 season. Unfortunately, it would be his last NHL game, as Tomlinson returned back to juniors before playing his remaining seven seasons at the minor league level. The left winger scored 63 goals and 95 assists for 158 points, along with 1446 penalty minutes, in his pro playing career. During the 90/91 season, Tomlinson won the American Hockey League championship as a member of Adirondack (NY), which was coached at the time by ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose.

Kirk will reside in Lubbock with his wife Elizabeth “Betts” and their twin 16-month old daughters Abigail and Brooke. He is currently in Flint, Michigan and will be formally introduced at a press conference to be announced at a later date. Tomlinson will be able to represent the Cotton Kings at the CHL’s Spring Conference scheduled for June 1 – 4th in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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