Jump to content

Welcome to SPHL Forums

Welcome to SPHL Forums, like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process that requires minimal information. Take advantage of it immediately, Register Now or Sign In.

  • Start new topics and reply to other fans of the SPHL!
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Add events to our community calendar
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Customize your experience here


Sign in to follow this  
Greg81102

Leo Thomas New Head Coach Press Conference

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Marksmen3519 said:

 

Mr Thomas is the first African-American head coach in SPHL history, but he's not the first African-American head coach in Macon; he's the third:

First was John Paris, Jr:

Pro Hockey's First Black Coach

John Paris Jr.holds a special place in the annals of professional hockey. Not only was he the head coach of the 1994 Turner Cup champion Knights (after replacing Gene Ubriaco mid-season), but he was the first black professional hockey coach.

John Paris Jr.He grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of lifelong hockey man John "Buster" Paris Sr. and the brother of hockey players. His pro career, as an undersized wing, went as far as nine games with the Eastern Hockey League's Knoxville Knights; he played extensively in the Canadian junior and senior systems, and then went in to coaching with the Granby Bisons of the Quebec Major-Junior League.

John Paris Jr.His results were indifferent, hovering around .500 with a variety of QMJHL teams. He was hired to coach the Atlanta Fire Ants, the roller hockey team owned by Knights management, for the 1994 summertime season. That placed him in Atlanta with the Knights as the right man in the right place at the right time.

With just 17 games to go in the regular season, the Knights head coach, Gene Ubriaco, was promoted to chief scout by the Knights' NHL affilliate in Tampa Bay. General manager Joe Bucchino appointed John Paris Jr. to lead the Knights. Just as another famous Atlantan would have insisted, the color of his skin had nothing to do with the hire -- it was the content of his character and just plain good fortune that put him behind the bench with the Knights team that went on to win the Turner Cup.

Paris led the team for the entire 1994-95 season and the first part of the 1995-96 season, but was relieved of his coaching duties and made Director of Player Development on January 8, 1996, with the Knights mired in a slump. Inconsistency and the losing record were cited as the reasons for the switch.

John Paris Jr. compiled a 65-64-11 regular-season record and a 14-5 playoff record in 2 1/2 seasons with the Atlanta Knights. Assistant Scott Gordon (an ex-Knights player) replaced him as the team's head coach. In 1996, with the Knights gone to Quebec, Paris remained in Georgia as the head coach and general manager of the Central Hockey League's Macon Whoopee.

The second was Graeme Townshend: 

Graeme Townshend (Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Toronto, Ontario): On September 9, 2008, the Toronto Maple Leafs appointed Townshend, a former NHL player from 1990 to 1994, as the team’s skating coach. While there, he designed skating and skills development progressions for all Maple Leafs players and prospects. He also pre-scouted and evaluated all prospective draft picks and attended interviews at the annual NHL pre-draft combine. Townshend held the position until the end of the 2012 season.

Prior to the job with the Maple Leafs, Townshend spent four seasons with the San Jose Sharks as the team’s skating coach under head coach Ron Wilson. Before that, he was head coach with the Greensboro Generals (2001-2002) of the ECHL and Macon Whoopee (1999-2001) of the Central Hockey League (CHL).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, PlannedObsolescence said:

Mr Thomas is the first African-American head coach in SPHL history, but he's not the first African-American head coach in Macon; he's the third:

First was John Paris, Jr:

Pro Hockey's First Black Coach

John Paris Jr.holds a special place in the annals of professional hockey. Not only was he the head coach of the 1994 Turner Cup champion Knights (after replacing Gene Ubriaco mid-season), but he was the first black professional hockey coach.

John Paris Jr.He grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of lifelong hockey man John "Buster" Paris Sr. and the brother of hockey players. His pro career, as an undersized wing, went as far as nine games with the Eastern Hockey League's Knoxville Knights; he played extensively in the Canadian junior and senior systems, and then went in to coaching with the Granby Bisons of the Quebec Major-Junior League.

John Paris Jr.His results were indifferent, hovering around .500 with a variety of QMJHL teams. He was hired to coach the Atlanta Fire Ants, the roller hockey team owned by Knights management, for the 1994 summertime season. That placed him in Atlanta with the Knights as the right man in the right place at the right time.

With just 17 games to go in the regular season, the Knights head coach, Gene Ubriaco, was promoted to chief scout by the Knights' NHL affilliate in Tampa Bay. General manager Joe Bucchino appointed John Paris Jr. to lead the Knights. Just as another famous Atlantan would have insisted, the color of his skin had nothing to do with the hire -- it was the content of his character and just plain good fortune that put him behind the bench with the Knights team that went on to win the Turner Cup.

Paris led the team for the entire 1994-95 season and the first part of the 1995-96 season, but was relieved of his coaching duties and made Director of Player Development on January 8, 1996, with the Knights mired in a slump. Inconsistency and the losing record were cited as the reasons for the switch.

John Paris Jr. compiled a 65-64-11 regular-season record and a 14-5 playoff record in 2 1/2 seasons with the Atlanta Knights. Assistant Scott Gordon (an ex-Knights player) replaced him as the team's head coach. In 1996, with the Knights gone to Quebec, Paris remained in Georgia as the head coach and general manager of the Central Hockey League's Macon Whoopee.

The second was Graeme Townshend: 

Graeme Townshend (Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Toronto, Ontario): On September 9, 2008, the Toronto Maple Leafs appointed Townshend, a former NHL player from 1990 to 1994, as the team’s skating coach. While there, he designed skating and skills development progressions for all Maple Leafs players and prospects. He also pre-scouted and evaluated all prospective draft picks and attended interviews at the annual NHL pre-draft combine. Townshend held the position until the end of the 2012 season.

Prior to the job with the Maple Leafs, Townshend spent four seasons with the San Jose Sharks as the team’s skating coach under head coach Ron Wilson. Before that, he was head coach with the Greensboro Generals (2001-2002) of the ECHL and Macon Whoopee (1999-2001) of the Central Hockey League (CHL).

Isn’t Leo Canadian as well???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, MarksmenManiac said:

Isn’t Leo Canadian as well???

from hockeydb.com

Leo Thomas

Center -- shoots R
Born Dec 9 1981 -- Toronto, ONT 
[36 yrs. ago] 
Height 6.01 -- Weight 190 [185 cm/86 kg]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, PlannedObsolescence said:

from hockeydb.com

Leo Thomas

Center -- shoots R
Born Dec 9 1981 -- Toronto, ONT 
[36 yrs. ago] 
Height 6.01 -- Weight 190 [185 cm/86 kg]

Can you be African American if you’re from Canada? Maybe African North American?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“IT’S VERY HUMBLING. FROM A KID PLAYING THIS GAME AND BEING COLORED AND GOING THROUGH SOME OF THE STUFF I WENT THROUGH AS A KID… THE GAME’S COME A LONG WAY, YOU KIND OF SEE A FEW COACHES SPRINKLED AROUND HERE AND THERE, BUT TO ACTUALLY BE THE HEAD COACH OF A TEAM AND BE COLORED, THAT’S A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT.  I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE IN THIS POSITION AND PEOPLE THAT ARE YOUNGER, I HOPE THAT THEY SEE THIS AND KNOW THAT IT CAN BE DONE.”  — LEO THOMAS

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members
     
     

    No registered users viewing this page.

     
×