The Valley Wildcats are pleased to announce that Mike Lyle will be the new Head Coach of the Kohltech U18 Valley Wildcats for the 2020/2021 season. Lyle is taking over the Head Coach position after spending the last two seasons as an Assistant Coach with the team.
Lukas Kane, who was an Assistant Coach with Lyle for the last two seasons, also returns to the U18 bench as an Associate Coach.
“I’m excited for the awesome opportunity,” says Lyle. “It’s something I’m really looking forward to, and I’m ready for that challenge.”
From Florence in Cape Breton, Lyle was drafted by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the fourth round in 2011.He would play several seasons in Major Junior, suiting up for Acadie-Bathurst, Cape Breton and Halifax. Lyle also played with the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in the MHL. He helped Pictou County win their first championship in 2016, and was named Playoff MVP en route to the title.
Kane has been a fixture of the Valley Wildcats for many years. From Cambridge, Kane wore the Wildcats uniform for seven seasons: one with the U15 team, three with the U18 squad, and three for the U21 Wildcats. Kane was part of the 2012/2013 Wildcats who won the U18 Atlantic Championship, and is tied for third place on the U21 Wildcats all time games played list with 136.
“We thought this was the right opportunity given Mike and Lukas’ experience,” says Wildcats General Manager Brandon Benedict. “The fact that Mike and Lukas worked together for the past two years is great. They know each other and work together really well.”
Benedict adds that the Wildcats place a huge emphasis on developing coaches internally, and giving their staff the opportunity to grow and succeed.
“I’m thankful to Graham (Baxter) and Brandon (Benedict) for giving me this opportunity,” says Lyle, “ And also Jeff (Krichew) as well. Jeff is the one who brought me down here two years ago. This is a great place to be, and a great organization.”
Outgoing U18 Head Coach Jeff Krichew is leaving the Wildcats organization to pursue other opportunities. Benedict says Krichew did an unbelievable job during his time with the Wildcats, and the organization wishes him nothing but the best. Krichew had been with the Wildcats since 2017, having served as Head Coach of both the U15 and U18 Wildcats during that time.
Kohltech U18 Valley Wildcats Head Coach – Mike Lyle
Kohltech U18 Valley Wildcats Associate Coach – Lukas Kane