The North York Rangers Junior ‘A’ have hired Geoff Schomogyi as the team’s new head coach, the club announced Wednesday.
Schomogyi, 37, joins the Rangers from the Georgetown Raiders, where he was assisting longtime bench boss Greg Walters. He also brings eight years of coaching experience in the Mississauga Rebels minor hockey organization with him, most recently as the head coach of the Rebels minor midgets last season – a club that yielded an impressive 15 Ontario Hockey League draft picks.
For his part Schomogyi, the former 100+ point scorer with the Junior ‘A’ Milton Merchants, is excited for the opportunity.
“It is truly great to be a part of a great organization like North York,” he said.
“They have had some really excellent coaches over the last little bit, including John Dean and Brent Hughes, so to follow them up is really a big honour. It was really great how the opportunity just kind of came about. With the vacancy I was approached, and I was instantly intrigued knowing there are lot of good people that are with the Rangers, from the general manager Claude Desjardins, to the owner Brant Snow, and on. I knew Walters and the Raiders organization would support me and that it was a good opportunity. I am really looking forward to getting started.”
The Kitchener native is set to make his junior head coaching debut, although he did receive ample opportunity to learn from one of, if not the best, bench bosses in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
“I learned so much from [Raiders’ head coach Greg Walters]”, Schomogyi said.
“He is, in my opinion, the best coach in the league, and being with him over the last couple of years taught me so much, both on and off the ice. I have nothing but good things to say about everyone in Georgetown, including Walters, the ownership, and the Raiders family in general. They really are a model organization and I am truly grateful for my time there.”
Schomogyi played for Milton of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League, the preceding league of the OJHL, in the 1998-1999 season, racking up 105 points in 50 games. He went on to play four years of NCAA Division I hockey with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, appearing in 108 contests over that span. He was a draft pick of the Ottawa 67’s in the 1996 OHL Draft.
He is the club’s fourth coach in four years, following John Dean, Mark Joslin, and Brent Hughes.
“I think we’re going to have a very solid group,” said Schomogyi, of his inherited team.
“I expect the returning players will be working very hard and our expectations as an organization will be very high for his year coming up. I know from facing the Rangers last year that they were one of the better teams in the league last year, especially after our tough second round playoff matchup, so I’m excited to see what we can do as a collective.”
Story by: Jamie Neugebauer, Media Co-ordinator
Image by: Georgetown Raiders website