INDEPENDENCE, MO – The Missouri Mavericks will be searching for their third bench boss in franchise history as Richard Matvichuk was announced as the new head coach of the Prince George Cougars of the WHL on Thursday.
After a disappointing first season behind the bench, Matvichuk led the Mavericks to their best season in team history with a record of 52-15-5, capturing the Brabham Cup as regular season champions. The Mavericks would eventually be knocked out of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference Semifinals by the Allen Americans in six games. After spending three seasons with the Americans as an Associate Coach, Matvichuk amassed a record of 85-50-14 with the Mavericks over two years at the helm.
Matvichuk replaced Scott Hillman as only the second head coach in team history, but will now make the move to the WHL to lead the Cougars. Prince George finished in seventh place of the Western Conference this past season with a record of 36-31-5, qualifying for the playoffs before eventually being swept by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round.
“When I purchased the Mavericks In January of 2015 I knew we had possibly a special coach in place with a great pedigree as an NHL player,” says Mavericks team owner, Lamar Hunt, Jr. “Over the last 16 months I saw him work through the adversity of a losing season and leverage the relationships the organization had put in place to bring our franchise back to perhaps as good as it has ever been on the ice. We will miss his intensity and the thoughtful planning he did to bring our roster and franchise back to life as a viable contender in the ECHL. When coaches are winners others take notice and though we are disappointed that he will be leaving the Missouri Mavericks we also understand that with success comes greater rewards and opportunities. We wish him and his family the best and thank him in a heartfelt manner for his dedicated service to our team and franchise.”
“I’ve been blessed in both my playing career and coaching positions with great teams to be part of,” said Matvichuk. “The Mavericks’ players and organization are some of the finest in the ECHL and I know they will continue on the path to a championship. A special thanks to team owner Lamar Hunt Jr. and General Manager Brent Thiessen for their unwavering support and kindness over these last two seasons”