Former Soo Greyhounds forward David Matsos has been named the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
Matsos has spent nine years in the league as a coach, first serving three seasons as an assistant coach with the Windsor Spitfires and then spending four seasons with the Sudbury Wolves. He spent just over two seasons as the Wolves head coach.
“The Bulldogs have a vision in place from ownership all the way down.” Matsos said via the Bulldogs website. “With this being my 9th year in the league, I am confident I know our players, the league and have what it takes to have success.
Matsos spent last season as an associate coach with the organization, working with former coach John Gruden, who was named an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Islanders. The Bulldogs won the OHL title in 2017-18, representing the league at the 2018 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Regina, Sask., in May under the guidance of Gruden and Matsos.
“Dave came in as an associate coach and was a massive part of our championship season,” said Hamilton President and General Manager Steve Staios via the Bulldogs website. “He’s got great experience and a lot of respect from our players. And he’s got an understanding of what our team identity is.”
Staios said that in addition to his time in Hamilton, his previous experience with the Wolves was also a factor in the hiring.
“The reason I went out and brought him in in the first place was projecting that this could be the case, that John Gruden would be moving on at some point,” Staios said. “We just think that it’s a seamless transition with the organization.”
Matsos was a member of the Greyhounds Memorial Cup winner in 1993, an experience that he called “special” during the 2018 tournament in May.
“The Sault was a special one obviously because we went through the Super Series to host it and then the fact that we lost the prior two years in the Memorial Cup, we were just so hungry,” Matsos said. “We were so determined and conditioned for the event.”
“To this day, it’s one of those things, the guys that we won with there, we still keep in touch,” Matsos added.