A provincial Junior B hockey title under his belt, Elmira Sugar Kings head coach Geoff Haddaway this week announced his resignation after four seasons with the club, saying he just had a gut-feeling it was time to call it quits.
“Every year you reflect on whether you want to keep coming back, and there are lots of things to consider every year,” he said. “Around early March, right before the playoffs actually, I just started to wonder if this was going to be it.”
Haddaway, a math teacher at Preston High School in Cambridge, enjoyed tremendous success behind the bench since he first arrived to start the 2007 season.
The Kings beat Cambridge in six games that year to win the Cherrey Cup and also claimed the Herb Parker Trophy for the best record in the division, 30-7-8-3. Haddaway also took home coach-of-the-year honours that season, but the Kings couldn’t lay claim to the Sutherland Cup, losing to the Tecumseh Chiefs in six games.
In 2009 the team suffered a disappointing six-game defeat to the Kitchener Dutchmen in the opening round of the playoffs, and in 2010 they lost in six games to the eventual Sutherland Cup victors the Brantford Golden Eagles in the division semi-finals.
Haddaway had difficulty summing up his time in Elmira, saying that each year he had a fantastic group of players, a supportive group of volunteers, and the best hockey fans in the entire league behind him, and although he enjoyed the ride of the team’s most recent playoff success, he also didn’t want it to end.
“I probably can’t put in words and do it justice how I feel about this team, this organization, and the community. They’ve just been so supportive. I am just so lucky to have those experiences and I can’t thank everyone enough for providing me with such a great place to coach.”
For now he plans to stay involved with the Kings, but from a distance as a scout, and he looks forward to returning to Elmira from time to time to cheer on the team and reminisce about his four years behind the bench.
“Any time I show up in Elmira it’ll be to watch a game, buy a 50/50 ticket, and clap when the team scores a goal. So I’m looking forward to that,” he said, adding that “whoever they hire for the next coaching position is walking into the best coaching job in the league.”