Hanlon to coach Swiss

Fust named U20 national coach

27.05.2014
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New Swiss national team coach Glen Hanlon (right) and his assistant and U20 national team coach John Fust (left) at the press conference on 27th May. Photo: Martin Merk

The Swiss Ice Hockey Federation presented Glen Hanlon as new national team coach. He resigned last week from his position with the Belarusian national team.

John Fust was presented as Hanlon’s assistant coach and the new head coach of the U20 national team where Hanlon will serve as General Manager. Both signed two-year contracts on Tuesday before being introduced to the media on a Lake Zurich cruise with a “welcome on board” from SIHF President Marc Furrer.

The new coaching duo replaces Sean Simpson and Colin Muller, who couldn’t agree on a new contract with the SIHF and will coach Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League in the upcoming season.

Former NHL goalie Hanlon, 57, was coaching the Belarusian national team at four IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships leading it to three quarter-final appearances including this year on home ice in Minsk. He had earlier announced that he will leave Belarus for family reasons and the contract was terminated last week. The Canadian, who also has American citizenship, was also head coach of the Slovak national team for two years, of the Washington Capitals, Jokerit Helsinki and Dynamo Minsk.

“To coach a national team is a great honour. I know that I’ll work for the Swiss people and the Swiss fans and I’ll give my word that I’ll work hard for the program and to make the next step,” Hanlon said. “I’m smart enough to lead the team to success and play fast and entertaining hockey. We will continue to play quick, to attack but also to move without the puck. In the end you need to defend.”

Swiss-Canadian Fust, 42, spent his entire career as a professional player in Switzerland before moving to coaching in 2007. He was the head coach of EHC Visp and the SCL Tigers Langnau and last season the assistant coach at Lausanne HC. At the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany Fust was an assistant coach for Sean Simpson.

“It was a great experience in 2010 and I always had it in the back of my head that I wanted to do something like that again,” Fust said. “The opportunity to be Hanlon’s assistant with the national team and head coach of the U20 national team gives me the best from both positions.”

On the U20 national team Fust will be assisted by Gerd Zenhausern. Pauli Jaks was named goaltending coach. Manuele Celio will continue to coach the U18 national team that will play in the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship on home ice in Zug and Lucerne. Additional assistant coaches for the men’s national team will be named later.

“I expect that these three people will work on the product Swiss Ice Hockey,” said Ueli Schwarz, the SIHF’s Director of Elite Sports. “We always eye a top-8 position but saw recently that it’s not that easy. We also hope that we can find and develop young national team players and to work on a common coaching philosophy.”

MARTIN MERK

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