The Madison Capitols announced on Wednesday that they have named Troy G. Ward as the team’s new head coach and general manager.
Ward is no stranger to the USHL, having coached the Dubuque Fighting Saints for two seasons (1993-95). He led them to winning seasons in both years and compiled a 53-38-5 overall record.
“We are excited to have a coach with Troy's credentials, and we know Troy will take our team from where it was to an elite level,” said Capitols Chairman Ryan Suter. “Troy brings a wealth of experience and success at every level of hockey that is unmatched, and we look forward to having Troy at camp next week.”
The native of North St. Paul, Minnesota has 25 years of coaching experience that has included stints at the junior and collegiate levels, plus professional hockey, including the NHL. His career began at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, where he spent three seasons behind the bench (1987-90). He also served as assistant coach in the collegiate ranks at the University of Denver (1990-93) and University of Wisconsin (2002-05).
“It is with great pleasure that I have been extended the opportunity to come back home and coach for the Capitols’ organization,” said Ward. “Anytime you join an organization in its infant stages, it’s special. My job is to bring my experiences into the Caps’ organization and take it a step further from last year.”
Ward’s professional coaching career includes being an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL for three seasons (1997-2000) as well as stints with the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL (1995-97) and the Houston Aeros in the AHL (2007-10). He was the head coach of the Trenton Titans (ECHL) during the 2000-01 season, leading them to a 50-18-4 record and a trip to the Kelly Cup Final series. He was named the ECHL Coach of the Year that season. Ward also served as head coach of the Victoria Salmon Kings (ECHL) for part of the 2005-06 season.
Most recently, Ward was a coach with the Abbotsford Heat, AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, serving as assistant for the 2010-11 season before spending three seasons as head coach (2011-14) and twice leading them to playoff berths. He began the 2014-15 season coaching at the junior level with the Vancouver Giants in the WHL.
Ward takes over the Capitols following the departure of Luke Strand who recently joined the coaching staff at the University of Wisconsin as associate head coach. Strand led the Capitols to a 24-25-11 record in their first USHL season in 2014-15.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 350 players on team rosters this past season are committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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