Shortly after the Hamilton Bulldogs were eliminated from the Memorial Cup Tournament, Head Coach John Gruden accepted an assistant coaching job with the New York Islanders, leaving the team without a coach.
That vacancy was filled Tuesday – in house.
Dave Matos was brought in to be an Associate Coach last season, and now is the Head Coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
In a press conference Tuesday, Dave Matos said, “It’s certainly an honour, it means a lot. From day one I really loved the way they approached every day. The culture, the character, so many things I believed in.”
“He adds experience for sure. 10 years in OHL pedigree of winning, won as a player, won as Coach and GM over in europe, and won as a part of our staff this year as well.” says Steve Staios, President of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
44 year old Dave Matsos was born and raised in Burlington, and even played 55 games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs back in the 98/99 season.
Matsos continued to say, “For me you always create your own goals and visions, and being a Head Coach in Hamilton is something that is very intriguing and appealing to me.”
Matsos scored 8 goals, and had 6 assists in his lone season with the Bulldogs. He says working under John Gruden last year was an invaluable experience and the team’s style of play will remain similar.
According to Matsos, “It’s big shoes to fill. Gruds was a great coach, but I understand the culture that Steve has built here and I don’t want to stray far from that.”
Steve Staios, “John Gruden did a phenomenal job with this group, and I just think there’s a continuation with Dave, Vince and Ron and we’ll get back to that level shortly.”
And the culture of promoting from within continues. Assistant Coach Vince Laise, will take over as the Associate Coach.