Slovakia’s golden coach returns

Vice-president Jan Filc named head coach of Slovakia

26.06.2008
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Jan Filc will coach the Slovakian national team at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland, seven years after having won gold. Photo: Slovakian ice hockey association

BRATISLAVA – Jan Filc is the new head coach of the Slovakian national team. Filc, who is also vice-president of the Slovakian ice hockey federation, will start on July 1st. He takes over after Slovakia's disappointing 13th place finish under Julius Supler at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Quebec City, Canada.

Filc brought the first medal to Slovakia when he won the bronze at the 1999 IIHF World U20 Championship. He took over the men’s team the same year and won silver in 2000 and gold at the 2002 IIHF World Championship in Sweden before he resigned from coaching. It remains the only world championship title for the young country, that gained independence after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

"It was not simple to accept this appointment. We were discussing for several weeks, what is longer than usual for me. I’m a member of the executive board of the Slovakian ice hockey association and I feel responsibility for the management of the association and for the ice hockey movement in Slovakia,“ said Jan Filc after his confirmation as head coach on Thursday.
 
His assistants will be named on July 15th. Candidates are his colleague from the 2002 gold team in Gothenburg, Ernest Bokros, or former head coach Frantisek Hossa, Peter Oremus and Lubomir Pokovic. Filc will also have talks with the GM candidates, Peter Bondra and Vaclav Nedomansky.
 
Jan Filc was born February 19th, 1953, in Bratislava. His son Robert, 27, was a goalkeeper of the national team and played at the University of British Columbia . His daughter Eva, 26, represented Slovakia in modern gymnastics.
 
Jan Filc’ playing career: A goaltender, Jan Filc played ice hockey since he was 11. He played for the junior team of Slovan Bratislava. As a member of Czechoslovakian U18 team, he brought home two bronze medals from the European U18 Championship. After finishing his studies, he was the goaltender for Nitra for 10 seasons.
 
Jan Filc’ coaching career: In 1976, Jan Filc graduated from the faculty of physical education and sport where he studied physical education and English language and earned a PhD in 1981. Afterwards, Filc worked as an assistant at the department of physical education at the pedagogical faculty in Nitra and at the department of sports games at the faculty of physical education and sport in Bratislava. 

His professional coaching career started in 1987 with Slovan Bratislava (assistant coach until 1989, head coach until 1990). He was also coaching Austrian club Stadlau Vienna (1990-1992) and junior teams like Spartak BEZ Bratislava. His assignment as head coach and manager of Slovakian U20 national team in 1998 led to a bronze medal in Winnipeg in 1999.

It was the first “independent” medal in ice hockey for Slovakia. His first career with the men’s national team began in summer 1999 and ended in 2002. Under his leadership, the Slovakian national team captured the silver medal in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2000 and the world championship title in 2002 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

In 2002, Jan Filc became a member of the executive board of the Slovakian ice hockey association where he is responsible for the national team department. After the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, Jan Filc continued to serve as a member of the executive board, since 2006 as vice-president.

MARTIN MERK

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