Reports: Norfolk Adds Assistant Coach
According to the Wichita Falls Times Record News and the Wichita Falls NAHL hockey club, the AHL's Norfolk Admirals have added Mike Flanagan as an assistant coach to Jon Cooper's staff. Flanagan was the interim coach for Wichita Falls last year, going 8-11-1 in his brief time as the head coach. He was less than a month away from beginning the season with the Wildcats.
While nothing has been made official yet from Tampa Bay or Norfolk, both press releases state Cooper coached with Flanagan while part of the St. Louis Bandits (NAHL) staff in 2006-2007. The Bandits won the Robertson Cup that year. The two men coached against each other earlier in their careers when Flanagan coached the Grand Rapids Owls and Cooper the Metro Jets in the CSHL.
According to his profile, Flanagan was assistant coach the past two seasons with the Wildcats. Prior to that, he was GM/Head Coach of the expansion Kenai River Brown Bears during their inaugural season. While with the Bandits, Flanagan helped guide the club to 43-14-5 record and a first place finish in the NAHL South Division in addition to their Robertson Cup National Championship. With the Bandits he aided in the advancement of 10 players to Division 1 schools on scholarships. He also provided video breakdown and analysis, practice preparation, individual player skills development, advance scouting, player(s) appearances and their participation in the local minor hockey community. Prior to that, Flanagan served five seasons as GM/Head Coach for Grand Rapids and guided the team to the post season three times and its only National Tournament birth. During his tenure, 40-plus players advanced to higher levels of hockey.
Per the Wildcats, Flanagan also coached the Nashville, TN, Midget and Bantam teams to the South District finals two straight years and led Centennial High School Varsity to consecutive league titles and two State Finals, winning once. Flanagan played his minor hockey for the Toronto Red Wings and St. Mike's, followed by four seasons of junior hockey, three of which were in the OHL with the Toronto Marlboros. After his junior days he played five seasons with stops in the ECHL, Europe and the CHL.