Edwards resigns as Muskie head coach

High school hockey fans were shocked Tuesday to learn Glen Edwards had stepped down as head coach of the Muskie boys’ hockey team in the midst of his 23rd season with the squad.
Assistant coaches Ken Christiansen and Shane Bliss will take over the reins for the duration of the season, beginning with Tuesday night’s exhibition game against the Chisholm Blue Streaks here (a 5-0 win for the Muskies).
Edwards’ decision to resign was unexpected, considering the first-place Muskies were off to a 5-0 start in NorWOSSA play, including a two-game thrashing of the Sioux Lookout Warriors last weekend when they outscored their opponents 35-3.
Edwards’ tenure with the Muskies may have been long, but his explanation of his resignation was brief.
“The time has come for me to move along,” he said Tuesday, declining to elaborate any further.
Fort High principal Ian Simpson, who accepted Edwards’ resignation and met with the Muskie team soon after, also wouldn’t give specifics yesterday as to the coach’s reason for walking away at this juncture.
“As far as I can see, Glen has been around for a long time and has done a great job,” said Simpson. “Just look at his record. He’s helped win three OFSAA gold medals.
“I’d say this has become the best public high school program in Ontario over the years.
“We have appreciated his contribution over the years. He put in many, many hours. We’re sorry to see him go,” Simpson added.
Simpson said there is no plan at this point to bring in a new head or assistant coach.
“That doesn’t mean we won’t be adding a coach possibly at some time,” added Simpson, who gave his vote of confidence to the two remaining bench bosses.
“Ken and Shane are good coaches, and well-respected by the players. They will do a fine job,” he remarked.
Simpson said it was difficult to gauge the players’ reaction when he informed them of the news yesterday, but he didn’t doubt their ability to adjust to the situation.
“They’re a great bunch of kids. They’re ready to step up, and I think they’re ready to go. I’m very optimistic.”
Edwards began as an assistant coach with the Muskies in the 1980-81 season, and took over as head coach from Terry Ogden at the start of the 1997-98 campaign.
Ogden wasn’t aware of Edwards’ resignation when contacted yesterday afternoon, but said his successor’s record speaks for itself.
“He won a gold medal as a head coach and did a lot for the program,” said Ogden. “Anyone who puts their heart and soul into a team for that long has really given a lot.”