The Austrian Ice Hockey Federation has announced the hiring of Daniel Ratushny as head coach of the men’s national team. Ratushny takes over the head coaching job from Manny Viveiros.
"It is a great challenge and a great privilege to have been given this job," said Ratushny, whose previous coaching experience includes working with Olten in Switzerland and in Germany as a coach of the Straubing Tigers, where he was the DEL’s 2012 coach of the year.
Earlier this summer Ratushny, who is fluent in German, also became head coach of Austrian EBEL champions Red Bull Salzburg. Born in Nepean, Canada, the 43-year-old former defenceman won a 1992 Olympic silver medal and a gold medal at the 1990 IIHF U20 World Championship.
“For us it’s the best solution to have a guy, who’s in Austria as club coach and deals with Austrian hockey on a daily basis,” said sport director Alpo Suhonen
Ratushny was announced by the federation during a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon, signing a one-year contract with an additional one-year option. He received the full support of federation members and former Austrian players Dieter Kalt, Christoph Brandner and Reinhard Divis. Brandner and Divis will work with Ratushny as assistant coach and goaltender coach respectively.
"A new broom sweeps clean," explained Federation President Dieter Kalt about the coaching change, which came following a season where the Austrian national team finished a disappointing tenth place at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. "It's a new motivation for the young team."
Ratushny’s first big test next season will come during the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic. Austria won promotion back to the top division after finishing in second place at the 2014 Division I Group A tournament.