VIENNA – Two days after earning promotion to the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the Czech Republic, the Austrian Ice Hockey Association announced it will not extend the contract with national coach Emanuel Viveiros.
“We want to thank Manny Viveiros and his team for the great co-operation, the reached goals and the celebrated success in the last three years,” the association’s executive board announced in a statement. “We are now taking a time-out and will analyze the current situation. We will not rush. We have enough time until the new season starts. Latest on 15th August we will present the new head coach of the national team.”
The decision didn’t completely come as a surprise after turbulent weeks for the association including a 4-0 defeat to Slovenia at the play-off game for qualification to the quarter-finals of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games for which officials blamed lack of discipline off the ice.
The future of Viveiros was one of the most asked questions from Austrian media recently and the decision was taken on Monday after a meeting between the board and sport director Alpo Suhonen, who will talk to candidates in the upcoming weeks and months.
It was also announced that the path to integrate Austrian coaches into the national team program will be continued and intensified according to the association’s new guidance “Austrian coaches with Austrian system for Austrian players” that shall be implemented step by step.
Canada-born Viveiros has been working in Austria as a player and coach since the age of 25, represented the country as a player in the 2005 IIHF World Championship on home ice in Vienna and Innsbruck and has won several championships with KAC Klagenfurt as a player and coach. In his three years as head coach of the national team he earned promotion to the top division twice (2012, 2014) while his team was relegated in 2013. On Saturday Austria finished second in the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.
Under Viveiros’ guidance, Austria qualified for the Olympic Winter Games for the first time since 2002 while denying Germany qualification to the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament for the first time in history by winning the Final Olympic Qualification group played in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, in February 2013.