MACON, Ga. – The pieces continue to fall into place for the Vermilion County Bobcats to debut as the SPHL’s newest team this fall.
The latest came into place Tuesday with the hiring of Brent Hughes as the first head coach in franchise history.
Hughes is hardly short on experience, having played ten years professionally prior to moving into coaching, going on to become the head coach and vice president of hockey operations with the ECHL’s Brampton Beast in 2014-15.
“Brent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization,” Bobcats owner Ellen Tully said in a team news release. “While winning is important, Brent also emphasizes player development on and off the ice and their advancement on to higher levels. There will be no complacency in this organization.”
His coaching career also includes a player-coach with EIHL’s Dundee Stars prior to moving into coaching full time with the North York Rangers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Following his stint with Brampton, he was an assistant for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. His most recent stint was in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Espanola Express.
Coaching experience won’t be the only thing that Hughes will bring to Danville. He also logged 339 points in 442 professional games in the Central Hockey League as well as the British Elite Ice Hockey League.
This won’t be the first time that Hughes has been part of starting a team from the ground up. He did the same with Brampton, as well.
“Fans are going to go home and say, ‘that Vermilion team works hard,’” Hughes said. “We’re going to play fast. I like the players that showcase their talents. We’re going to be structured defensively, but we’ll give some room for creativity as well.”