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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

McDermott excited to begin as new Head Coach for the 73’s


by Garrett Fodor

photo submitted to EFP

Entering its 50th season, a new Head Coach will lead the Essex 73’s Junior “C” Hockey Organization from behind the bench.

  Following the 73’s elimination in the Stobbs Division finals, at the hands of the eventual Schmalz Cup champions, the Lakeshore Canadiens, it was announced the club would look for a new Head Coach. The club had noted Danny Anger had resigned from his role as Head Coach, but would still remain with the organization in another capacity.

  The search eventually led to someone familiar with the team and the organization, Jamie McDermott, with the former Assistant Coach earning the promotion to Head Coach. 

  “As a former player and Coach, I am extremely proud to be the Head Coach as we celebrate our 50th anniversary,” McDermott said. “My father was the Coach and the General Manager at one point, and my uncle was also the General Manager at another. Growing up in town, the 73’s games – that was our NHL, everyone going to the rink to watch the games and as a kid, idolizing them, hoping to one day wear the jersey, too. I’m extremely fortunate to get to experience that now from all angles.”

  Carrying an extensive hockey resume, McDermott returned to the sport after a pair of heart surgeries and more than six-years away from the sport. Serving as an Assistant Coach on Anger’s staff, McDermott noted he was fortunate to have an opportunity to pick things up again and connect with so many of the players last year, while also learning from Anger.

  “I spent a number of years coaching under Tony Piroski in Leamington and in Essex, but after a few years away from the game, coming back last season, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to see Danny’s style. He is a great coach and is going to do great things down the road,” recounted McDermott. “The game has changed a lot; it has gotten a lot quicker. The kids are bigger, faster, and stronger. I’m hoping to take the experiences from this past year along with my past experiences into next season, and hopefully we are able to do something special in our 50th anniversary.”  

  McDermott describes himself as a more defensive coach. Noting that “defense wins championships,” he hopes to bring a defensive first, hard-nosed style of hockey to Essex. With the team currently in off-season mode, McDermott does not see any other major changes ahead of training camp in August. He envisions the same staff returning once again. On the ice, the team featured nine rookies last season, so there is the potential to retain a lot of the team.

  “It’s a dream come true,” McDermott said. “As long as my family allows me to and my health this is where I’d like to be. In my opinion, this is the best junior organization in Ontario, bar-none. Everyone gets treated like they are an NHL player, coach and fans, whatever it is.”

  Looking ahead, McDermott said he is excited to hit the ice and begin the 50th season. He is looking forward to making his imprint on the team and helping the players achieve their individual and team goals. 

  “If you want to be a part of the 73’s organization, you have to win, so that is our goal,” McDermott described. “I want to continue to develop on the foundation that was built over the last 15-years and the last 50-years. We want to work hard every night and overthrow Lakeshore and try to bring back a championship to Essex, especially in our 50th season.” 

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