WHEELING - The Wheeling Nailers on Tuesday announced their new assistant coach for the 2013-14 season. Doug Bradley has been hired for the position, and will join Clark Donatelli behind the Wheeling bench.
"Doug is a knowledgeable hockey coach, who brings vast experience and a tactical mind to our organization," Donatelli said. "He is a student of the game, and has seen a lot of different systems, which should make his transition that much easier. He has also dealt with various types of players from all over the world, so I am excited to see him interact with our players."
Bradley, 57, began his journey into hockey at a high level in the fall of 1974, as a defenseman at Dartmouth College. After spending four years there, he continued his education and his playing career at McGill University (Quebec) in 1978-79, before serving as the school's assistant coach for the following two seasons. He then went on to skate for the NEnHL's Manchester Blackhawks, to finish off his playing career.
In 1991, Bradley got back into the world of hockey, as he took over as the head coach of the Star Lausanne Hockey Club in Switzerland - a team that played in the primary developmental league for the Suisse National League. After spending six seasons in Switzerland, Bradley moved to Germany, where he coached in Frankfurt, Munich, and Garmisch/Parteenkirchen. The Acton, Mass., native experienced great success in his two seasons with the Munich Barons, leading the expansion club to a DEL Championship in 1999-00, and following that up by qualifying for the Continental Cup in 2000-01.
After brief stops in Austria and Germany, Bradley's next significant success behind the bench took place in 2008, when he led HK Acroni Jesenice to the Slovenian National Playoffs, where the team ultimately rattled off eight consecutive victories, to take home the Slovenian National Championship. Bradley quickly familiarized himself with the word "championship," as HK Acroni Jesenice also took home a title in 2009, before Bradley moved on to IHC Medvescak Zagreb in Croatia, where he served as Sport Manager and Director of Hockey Operations, assembling a team that reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
"I have been to Wheeling before as a scout, and it is a beautiful area, with a nice rink and welcoming people, so this is a good opportunity for me," Bradley said. "I appreciate the fact that there is a unique organizational structure with Wheeling, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and Pittsburgh, which allows for the continuity of player development, while also providing a cohesiveness throughout."
Donatelli and Bradley will lead their squad into preseason action at 7 on Saturday night, when the Nailers play host to the Elmira Jackals.