International Ice Hockey Federation

Russell to coach Great Britain

Russell to coach Great Britain

U20 coach to take over senior national team

Published 11.01.2015 20:47 GMT+1 | Author Martin Merk
Russell to coach Great Britain
Pete Russell led Great Britain to gold at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A in December. Photo: Ice Hockey UK
Pete Russell has been named head coach of Great Britain’s senior national team. He recently won gold at the U20 World Championship Division II Group A.

The 40-year-old replaces Doug Christiansen, who resigned in summer.

He will be assisted by Tommy Watkins and Richard Hartmann and the trio's first tournament in charge will be April's 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Russell is Great Britain's most successful junior coach and has won four golds, one silver and two bronze medals in 11 tournaments in charge of GB U20s and GB U18s.

The Ayr-born former netminder, who is coach of the Swindon-based Okanagan Hockey Academy, had a successful time in charge of EPL side Slough Jets, winning the playoffs and coach of the year in 2009-10 and the EPL Cup in 2010-11.

He has also had spells as coach of Swindon Wildcats and Bracknell Bees, while Russell also worked in the Superleague with Ayr Scottish Eagles and in the Elite League with Cardiff Devils.

"This is the proudest moment of my hockey career and I am so thrilled to be the new head coach. My passion for GB runs deep and now to be coach of the men's side is just fantastic,” Russell said. "I know so many of the GB players having coached them in the junior sides in years gone by. I know how much they care and how much they love their country.

"Becoming head coach of GB Men has always been an ambition of mine and I now want to do Great Britain proud in my time in charge.

"This is a dream come true for me and I can't wait to get going. It's a new beginning for Great Britain Men and I will select my team - one to start a new era for GB.”

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Watkins is currently assistant to Russell with GB U20s and also head coach of EPL league leaders Telford Tigers. Slovak coach Hartmann has been head coach of Elite League side Edinburgh Capitals since 2011.

"Ice Hockey UK are very excited about the future under our new coaching trio. Pete is one of the most passionate coaches I have ever met and his record at junior World Championship tournaments is exceptional,” said Ice Hockey UK Chairman Jim Anderson.

"He is also very popular. All the players speak highly of him and it is clear he can get that extra mile out of players. It is fantastic that Great Britain are being led by one of the top British coaches in the game at the moment. We see these three as the future and hope they are with us for a long time to come."


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