WICHITA, KS – Former Wichita Thunder head coach Kevin McClelland has a new job.

The West Coast Renegades Amateur Hockey Association announced Tuesday they signed McClelland to a three-year contract to be the head coach for their U18 Tier 1 team. He takes over a Renegades program that went 7-25-1 last season.

“He is a terrific addition to WCR, the kids in our organization and to the hockey community in Utah,” said Joe D’Urso, President of the West Coast Renegades. “I am excited to welcome Kevin to the team not only because of his impressive hockey accomplishments but equally because of his character, integrity and humble persona. Kevin will join the rest of the WCR team in helping to advance our mission: ‘to provide a best in class environment for learning, playing, loving and excelling in the game of hockey and to enhance the personal, emotional and athletic growth of the youth who participate by combining top level coaching and training with an important values driven approach to the game.’”

McClelland came to Wichita in 2010 and guided the Thunder for six seasons. He is the longest tenured coach in Thunder history, having led the team for 408 games. During his time in Wichita, McClelland compiled a record of 194-166-48. The team announced on April 16 they would not renew his contract.

“I am very excited about this opportunity that Joe and the WCR organization have given me,” McClelland said. “Just being here for a few days and being around Joe and some staff you can see where the focus is and that is on the players. I am very excited to get started working with a group of great people and working with these kids and giving them every opportunity to achieve their goals in the hockey world.”

The Renegades start play in September.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting move! Certainly a step down for someone with his background. I wonder what has kept him from advancing as an asst. in the AHL or higher. The same goes for Steve Martinson! What more does he need to do to move up????

  2. Steve Martinson has an unbelievable record as a minor league head coach. He’s won virtually everywhere he’s been. The knock on him, and I know this for a fact, is that he’s not an x’s and o’s guy. A great motivator and a good game night coach. Most places he’s been, there has been an assistant or someone who designed systems etc. The AHL is first and foremost a development league. NHL teams want coaches who will develop the big club’s 3 or 4 prospects first, and win games second. That’s the way it is in the hockey world. Players usually hate and then love him. That’s why at the AA level he gets so much out of his guys….they’ll run through a wall for him, but he’s not a teacher. He was always known for his physically tough teams and, to his credit, he’s changed with the times. Having said all that, I think Martinson would be good for a young AHL team as a motivator, but probably not as a systems guy.

  3. I also know that Martinson likes his own guys / players. he cant do that to the magnitude in the AHL as he currently does in the ECHL. I’ve read that I dont get the sense hes open to others and its his way or the highway. No GM is going to risk their butt with that type of attitude in todays game. His teams are also usually the most penalized (just like when he played) yet they win like hell! Its still amazing the guys that get opportunities in the “A” or even in the “O” that don’t have 10% of the experience and more importantly his success!

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