Experienced player and coach to lead York men’s hockey

York Sports & Recreation can thank Principal John Fallis of Alliston’s Banting Memorial High School for a speedy resolution to the problem caused by the unexpected departure of long-time men’s hockey coach Graham Wise earlier this month.

Bill Maguire

Right: Bill Maguire, head coach of the 2006-2007 York Lions men’s hockey team

With only a few weeks before the start of both his school’s fall term and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) hockey season, Fallis helped newly appointed Lions coach and York alumnus Bill Maguire negotiate a leave from his job as physical education teacher so he could come to York. "He’s a super guy and always been a big supporter of mine," said Maguire, whose appointment for the 2006-2007 Ontario University Athletics season was announced Aug. 16.

It’s a return to familiar territory for Maguire, who was Wise’s assistant for six years until 2000. In fact, it was Wise who called to tell him about the opening caused by his departure for Ryerson University’s hockey program.

Maguire came to York as a student in 1985 and captained York’s team for four seasons, leading it to three OUA titles (1986, 1987 & 1988) and two national titles (1988 and 1989). Maguire was a three-time OUA all-star and was named a CIS All-Canadian in his final season. He graduated from York’s Faculty of Arts in 1989 with a degree in physical & health education and geography.

"I’m very excited that Bill agreed to coach this year," said Patricia Murray, York’s director of sport & recreation. "His expertise as both a university player and coach will help continue York’s winning tradition."

Maguire brings a wealth of hockey experience, as both a player and a coach. He served as head coach of the Couchiching Terriers Junior A team and the Barrie Colts Junior B team. He was also co-coach of the Ohio University Bobcats.

In addition to his coaching credentials, Maguire boasts a wide-range of playing experience. Drafted in the 1981 National Hockey League entry draft by the Hartford Whalers, he played four years in the Ontario Hockey League with the Niagara Falls Flyers and North Bay Centennials. Following his junior career, Maguire turned professional, skating with the Whaler’s farm team, the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League, and the Mohawk Valley Stars of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League.

"It’s an exciting time for me. As an alumnus, I have a lot of passion for the York hockey program," said Maguire, who attends three of four Lions games a year. "One of my goals is to continue the excellence and success the team has had over the past 20 years under coach Wise."

In addition to his York degree, Maguire holds a bachelor of education degree from the University of Toronto and a master of science degree in physical education from Ohio University. He is the owner and director of Concept Hockey International Inc., a hockey clinic in Barrie.

Maguire’s first test as bench boss take place on Sept. 8, at the Ricoh Centre, when the York Lions face the Florida Panthers rookies in an exhibition game in the Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Tournament. The Lions open the 2006-2007 regular season on Oct. 13, at the Royal Military College in Kingston.