Spitfires name new head coach
The Windsor Spitfires have a new head coach.
The team has named Jerrod Smith as its new bench boss.
He replaces Marc Savard who joined the NHL's Calgary Flames last month as an assistant coach.
At a news conference on Monday, Smith says it's a very special day for him and his family.
"You know obviously I've been here a long time and worked my up and always believed in myself as a coach and as a person. I'm just grateful for the opportunity and thank everybody who has supported me to get to this point."
The Windsor Spitfires named Jerrod Smith as new head coach at a news conference at the WFCU Centre. July 24, 2023. (Photo by AM800's Rob Hindi)
Smith says he loves the team coming back and thinks they'll be very competitive heading into the next season.
"I think the guys coming back are hungry because of the result in the playoffs last year. I think that's going to stick in their minds. I think they're going to be excited to come to training camp and start building something special."
He says Windsor is one of the premiere places to play junior hockey.
"We have an unbelievable world class facility, a tremendous fan base. This is a hockey city. The players that have come through. The coaches that have come through. All those guys that I have mentioned are now coaching in the National Hockey League which obviously goes to show something."
Smith says it is a goal of his to one day be coaching in the NHL.
The Windsor Spitfires named Jerrod Smith as new head coach, at a news conference at the WFCU Centre. July 24, 2023. From Left to Right: Stephen Savage, John Savage, Jerrod Smith, Brian Schwab, Bill Bowler. (Photo by AM800's Rob Hindi)
Smith has been a staple behind the Spitfires bench since 2013-2014.
He started as the teams’ video coach in 2011 after his playing career. After two years as video coach, he was promoted to assistant coach.
From 2013-2018, he served in this position before being promoted to associate coach ahead of the 2018-19 season.
He held the associate coach role for another two seasons before adding more duties as the team’s director of player personnel.
Smith has amassed over 700 games as an OHL coach.
The Spits open the 2023-24 season on the road against the Sarnia Sting on Friday, September 29.
The team's home opener is the following night against the Guelph Storm.