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Hamilton Bulldogs promote Laise to head coach, move Matsos to associate role

Vince Laise will take over as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs next season.
Vince Laise will take over as head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs next season. Hamilton Bulldogs

The Hamilton Bulldogs are shuffling their coaching staff for the 2019-20 season.

Vince Laise will be promoted from associate coach to head coach, while Dave Matsos will go from head coach to associate coach.

“Vince’s determination, passion and work ethic has prepared him for this position as head coach,” said Bulldogs president and general manager Steve Staios in an official media release. “He is on an incredible trajectory and has a progressive mind for the game with a focus on developing the athlete. We are incredibly excited to have Vince lead our hockey club.”

Laise takes over for Matsos, who dealt with health issues during the 2018-19 Ontario Hockey League season.

On Sept. 22, 2018, during a game in Barrie, Matsos was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after he collapsed on the bench in the final seconds of Hamilton’s game against the Colts.

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READ MORE: Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Dave Matsos ‘feels really good’ after collapse

In May 2019, Matsos suffered an infection after having surgery to replace his right hip.

Laise, 36, a native of Brampton, has been with the Bulldogs in the role of associate coach since 2016 and helped lead the team to an OHL Championship in 2018.

He spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Erie Otters. Laise has also been an assistant coach with the Oakville Blades (OJHL) and Brampton Bombers (GOJHL).

READ MORE: Hamilton Bulldogs trade defenceman DJ King to Saginaw Spirit

Prior to entering the coaching ranks, Laise spent four years with the University of Maine Black Bears playing in two NCAA Frozen Four tournaments. After his collegiate career, Laise suited up in two professional games with the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL.

Also returning to the coach’s bench will be Matsos as an associate coach along with assistant coaches Ron Wilson and Patrick Jarrett.

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