Niagara IceDogs promote assistant coach Billy Burke to head coach

This is getting mixed reactions. After head coach David Bell left the team to go work for the AHL Ontario Reign, and training camp a few weeks away, the team needed a new head coach right away. With available longtime OHL head coach Marty Williamson not an option (He was let go by Niagara after the team lost the 2016 OHL Finals), the IceDogs promoted from within.

Billy Burke has been the IceDogs assistant coach for eight years. He helped coach the team to two OHL Finals. He's overseen multiple top ten NHL picks, and more first rounders. One year FIVE members of the U20 Team Canada cane from Niagara while he was coaching.

After all that time I'd say an assistant has worked himself into a promotion. Almost a decade learning from head coaches, experienced assistants. He's been around the players already, they know his voice and what to expect.

However, he's the son of the owners Bill and Denise Burke and brother of the current General Manager Joey Burke. Many people are crying nepotism at this move, and maybe that was the end goal for the Burkes when they bought the team, but its hard to see this as a straight "give the team to the kids" move, when they both put in years of work as assistants before getting promoted.

I'm not trying to be a homer here, but let's see the results on the ice before throwing rocks.

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