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Colts bring in Warren Rychel as new bench boss

Longtime head coach Dale Hawerchuk recently took a leave of absence from the team for undisclosed health reasons
2019-09-09 Warren Rychel
Warren Rychel has been hired as the new head coach of the OHL Barrie Colts. Photo supplied


The OHL Barrie Colts announced today that Warren Rychel has been brought in to take over as head coach.

“With Dale Hawerchuk taking a leave from behind the bench, we felt we needed to bring in a seasoned hockey veteran to help lead the team this year. We consulted with many people, including Dale Hawerchuk, and we all agreed that Warren is the right man for the job," said Howie Campbell, president of the Colts.

“It’s been a very difficult couple of weeks, but we are confident that Warren can help guide us to where we need to be," Campbell added. "We’ve been building this team for a while and we feel we have the team to have a good run this year."

Warren Rychel brings many years of experience to the table for the Colts. Mr. Rychel was an owner and the GM of the Windsor Spitfires from 2006 until 2019. Under his leadership, the team won two OHL championships, in 2009 and 2010, and three Memorial Cup championships, in 2009, 2010 and 2017. He was named the OHL executive of the year in 2009.

As a player, he played in the NHL from 1987 to 1999, and won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996.

“Although I’m thrilled to be joining the Colts, this is not the best circumstance for anyone," Rychel said. "I have huge respect for Dale Hawerchuk and first and foremost my thoughts are with him and his family. I’ve known Howie and the Colts organization for many years and I know this is a top notch OHL team.

"I’ll do my best to work with the organization and the players to bring home a great season. I couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff to be stepping into with Todd Miller, Billy Smith and Taylor Carnevale," he added. "And I have worked with GM Jason Ford and with Marty Williamson in the past. As a group, I think we have some of the best minds and experience in the league. I’m excited to get started."

The OHL Barrie Colts are set to start their 25th season with the home opener on Sept. 21.