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Jeff Flanagan announced as head coach of the Toronto Furies

Digit Murphy currently the only female head coach in the league

Toronto Furies new head coach Jeff Flanagan with some of the 2017 draft class.
Toronto Furies new head coach Jeff Flanagan with some of the 2017 draft class.
Chris Tanouye / CWHL

The Toronto Furies announced today that Jeff Flanagan will replace Sommer West as the head coach for the 2017-18 season.

At the draft on Sunday, GM Nicole Latreille indicated that finding a new head coach became one of her top priorities as soon as she was hired.

Flanagan comes to the league with extensive coaching experience in several leagues, at many levels, and in many countries. Most recently he was head coach of the Milton Icehawks of the OJHL, and assistant coach to the U-19 Canada East team who came in second at the 2016 World Junior A Championship. His experience with women’s hockey is not quite as wide in range but spans many years.

He has been an assistant coach and consultant with the University of Guelph Gryphons women’s hockey team since 2009 alongside head coach Rachel Flanagan, with whom he has won the McCaw Cup for the past two consecutive seasons. There are some strong prospects coming through Guelph in recent years and hopefully this will give the Furies a little edge come recruiting time!

Perhaps most interestingly, he served as head coach for the Basingstoke Lady Bisons for the 2004-05 season in the EIHL. This experience with a smaller league should stand him in good stead in the CWHL.

Per the team:

“Jeff comes to us with an extensive hockey background and a strong passion for the game. His vision, his experience and how he connects with his athletes will help drive this organization to success” says General Manager Nicole Latreille. “The Furies are extremely proud and excited to have Coach Flanagan for the 2017-18 season.”

Previous head coach Sommer West led the Furies for five seasons. She was named Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 season, the year in which the Furies won their only Clarkson Cup to date. A former player who racked up 60 goals and 89 assists in her CWHL career with the Mississauga Chiefs and Burlington Barracudas, West stepped down this year for personal reasons.

Lexie Hoffmeyer, who has been assistant coach and social media guru for the Furies for the past two seasons, announced she was stepping down from her Twitter duties last weekend.

Whether she will remain with the team in a coaching capacity remains unclear. Hoffmeyer has been with the team as either a player or a coach for their entire seven year existence.