The Okanagan Hockey Group (OHG) announced today that Mike Needham has been named the Skills and Development Coordinator of the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA).
Needham, 48, re-joins OHA after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers.
“We are excited to bring Mike back on board here in Penticton,” said Dixon Ward, Vice-President of OHG. “Mike has a proven track record of skill development, not only from his time here but also in the WHL, and we look forward to watching him work with our student athletes once again.”
The Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. product was at OHA for three seasons from 2011 to 2014 as the head coach of the Bantam Prep team, which under his leadership saw 23 students selected at the WHL Bantam Draft, including seven players taken in the first round.
Needham played 225 games with the Blazers as a player from 1987 to 1990, before moving onto the professional ranks where he appeared in 100 games in the National Hockey League. Needham played 95 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which included capturing the 1992 Stanley Cup, before playing five games with the Dallas Stars.
Being a part of the Okanagan Hockey Academy has been an extremely rewarding and unforgettable experience. It has enabled me to gain confidence and acquire life long skills expanding beyond the game of hockey. The balance between academics and athletics is superb, allowing you to achieve your ultimate success. The academy assisted me in achieving my dream of playing hockey at the NCAA level while studying Pre-Medicine. Without this caring support group, none of this would have been possible and I am forever grateful.