By Colin Gaumont
The world outside has changed, as has life at NAIT, but for Scott Fellnermayr, 2020 has marked a change for the best as he takes the helm as the head coach of our men’s hockey team.
The leaves are turning, the winds of change are blowing, and this year has been proving that not all change is created equal. For Fellnermayr the key for the year ahead will be embracing the changes in front of him and getting his players ready for when the puck drops.
“Recruitment has already been done, we have a full team and players are preparing to play despite the uncertainty of the season,” said Fellnermayr.
“Until a decision is made on when the season will begin, we just have to keep practicing on our own and stay prepared to hopefully play meaningful games in January.”
Coach Fellnermayr, may be in a new position with NAIT but he has an abundance of experience in Ooks hockey.
“I came to NAIT in the 2012-2013 season and played for four years, played one year in the southern pro league for the Huntsville Havoc, and then I started coaching with NAIT,” said Coach Fellnermayr.
“I started as the video coach and held that position for two years under Tim Fragle before having one year as assistant coach.”
Scott Fellnermayr took over the head coaching job from the long-tenured Tim Fragle.
Coach Fragle left the Ooks in May to become the head coach and general manager of the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL.
Fragle had nothing but praise for his successor at NAIT.
“It’s great. It’s great for the team and for the athletics program as a whole,” said Fragle.
Having worked with Fellnermayr extensively in the past decade, Fragle expressed that this was the right hire.
“It was the right move at the right time, with Scott having worked with the team for the past three years, he knows all the players and new recruits coming in,” said Fragle.
“He has a real passion for Ooks hockey and he’s a natural fit for the position.”
Coach Fellnermayr, who learned his coaching ropes from Fragle, understands that he’s been left with big shoes to fill. His focus is on bringing the same winning mentality to the Ooks men’s hockey team that has become their brand.
“I want to carry on with the direction the program is going,” said Fellnermayr.
“Tim Fragle did a great job of building a good culture and we’ve got a lot of returning players to help carry on that tradition. We lost 11 key players, but I feel the new guys coming in will fit right into the culture here.”
Losing key offensive and defensive players, but seeing how far the team was able to grow in the past two seasons, Fellnermayr sees this year’s team building off that momentum.
“We have to build off of what we had going last year,” said Fellnermayr. “It’s a new year with some new faces but it feels very similar and we want to continue with the momentum we finished with. Our team values and direction will remain the same.”
For Fellnermayr, the expectations are high, but his disposition remains positive.
“We expect to have a good team. We have some high end recruits, we have some more mature guys coming from other institutions and even pro,” said Fellnermayr.
“Having that maturity will help us have a quick start.”
The beginning of the 2020-2021 ACAC Men’s Hockey season still remains in question, but with strong new recruits, and building off from where they left off last season, Coach Fellnermayr and the Ooks men’s hockey team will be ready.