PENTICTON / STAFF
Each athlete brings a unique skillset to the rink, and our coaches work to develop that particular player within the team concept. OHA’s coaches also share an incredible passion not only for player development, but for personal development as well.
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
Perrin completed her Bachelor of Science majoring in Kinesiology at the University of Lethbridge and her Advanced Certificate of Athletic Therapy at Mount Royal College. After becoming a Certified Athletic Therapist, Perrin worked in a variety of sports including CIS Rugby, Junior and Provincial Lacrosse, Judo and Hockey. Perrin started working full time hockey in 2009 and has since been a team therapist in a number of leagues and programs including the JWHL, KIJHL, CSSHL, Team Alberta and Hockey Canada. Joining Hockey Canada in 2010, Perrin has worked at every level with the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team, most recently serving as Team Therapist for the 2018 Olympic Team that won silver in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Perrin joined the Okanagan Hockey Academy in 2014 as the Manager of Athletic Therapy and Medical Services.
HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
Needham was the assistant coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers from 2014-2018, as well as their skills coach since 2011. 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.
HEAD OF ATHLETIC THERAPY
HEAD OF OPERATIONS & EVENTS
Brett has spent the last 10 years working in sports and recreation, including at BC Hockey as Manager of Leagues, assisting with the Male and Female U15, U16, and U18 programs, and with the 2019 World Junior Championships in Vancouver and Victoria. He grew up on Vancouver Island where he played minor and junior hockey while graduating Vancouver Island University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management. Brett also previously coached at the AA and AAA levels both in BC and Saskatchewan.
HEAD OF STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
Paul Bisnauth graduated from Brock University with a BSc. in Kinesiology, and then earned a post-grad certificate from Niagara College in Exercise Science for Health and Performance. As a coach, Paul has had the opportunity to work with athletes and teams at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Paul’s goals are to assist student-athletes in their pursuit of excellence, to foster a positive training environment and to make a meaningful impact by providing tools that will last a lifetime.
HEAD COACH, U18 PREP
Robert Dirk played eleven seasons as a professional hockey player, including nine seasons in the NHL with the Blues, Canucks, Blackhawks, Ducks and Canadiens. Prior to his professional career, Dirk played his junior hockey with the WHL’s Regina Pats and won a Bronze Medal at the World U17 Challenge. In his draft year (1984), Robert was drafted 53rd overall at the NHL Draft. Dirk is a former head coach at the ECHL, WCHL and UHL level, and also served as the head coach of Team Pacific at the 2010 World Under-17 Challenge. Dirk joined OHA in 2006.
HEAD COACH, FEMALE U18 PREP
Schols joined OHA after spending one season as an assistant coach at Grant McEwan University. Schols has served as an assistant coach for Team Alberta on three occasions, winning the gold medal in 2019 at the Canada Winter Games. She was the head coach of the Northern Alberta Xtreme Female U18 Prep team from 2016-2019.
As head coach of the Edmonton Thunder Female Midget AAA team from 2012-2014, she guided the team to back-to-back Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League championships, as well as a silver medal at the 2014 Esso Cup and a bronze medal in 2013.
Prior to coaching, Schols was a standout defenceman in the NCAA with Mercyhurst University, where she posted 94 points (20-74-94) in 144 career games. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts – Criminal Justice, Concentration Juvenile Justice.
In 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, Schols was Assistant Coach for the Czech Women’s National Hockey team competing in the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Denmark. The team brought home the bronze medal both times, and most recently in a 4-2 win over Switzerland!
HEAD COACH, U17 PREP
Leung spent several season in the BCHL – first as an Assistant Coach with the Trail Smoke Eaters and then with the Prince George Spring Kings as an Associate Coach. Prior to his time in the BCHL, Jessie spent 6 years with the Valley West Hawks in the U18 AAA League (Previously BCMML), first as an Associate Coach and then as a Head Coach. In 2016, he coached the Hawks to a league championship. Additionally, Leung has worked for the BC Hockey Program of Excellence as a both a Video Coach and Assistant Coach for the U16 program. As an Assistant Coach, he was part of the Silver Medal team in 2016 at the Western Canada Challenge Cup and in 2015 he served as the video coach for Team BC at the Canada Games.
HEAD COACH, U17 PREP BLACK
McKinnon is a former head coach of the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters and AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. He has 20 years of experience with BC Hockey’s High Performance Program, including the position of head coach of both the Team BC U16 and U17 teams from 2001-2004.
HEAD COACH, U15 PREP
A former student athlete and team captain at the NCAA level with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Bedard is a former assistant coach with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders and BCHL’s Penticton Vees. He was the head coach of Team Pacific at the 2006 World Under-17 Challenge and the head coach of Team BC at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.
HEAD COACH, U15
Urekar is a former Head Scout and Assistant General Manager & Assistant Coach for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. Prior to his time with the Smoke Eaters, Jeff spent 5 years with the Vancouver North East Chiefs in the U18 AAA League (Previously BCMML), holding several roles including Head of Scouting, Associate Coach and Head Coach. Additionally, Urekar has worked for BC Hockey as a regional camp evaluator for their U15 & U16 programs. With the BC Hockey program, he has also served as Head Coach for both the 2017 U15 BC Cup and the 2018 U16 BC Cup teams. Jeff will be on the bench for the upcoming WHL Cup as an assistant coach for the 2021 Team BC U16 Team.
Cam Barker played in the WHL for the Medicine Hat Tigers from 2002 to 2006, where he was a 2-time WHL All-star and won the 2004 Memorial Cup. Barker won 2 gold medals in the World Junior Championships in 2004 & 2005. In 2004 Barker was drafted 3rd overall by the Chicago Blackhawks, leading to a successful NHL career encompassing 310 games. Barker’s coaching career starting with the Penticton Vees. As an Assistant Coach, the team would secure consecutive Fred Page Cup Championships in 2022 and 2023. Barker has also served as an Assistant Coach for the 2023 BC Canada Winter Games Men’s Team. e.
PLAYER EVALUATION PROJECT MANAGER
Shawn Dineen joins OHA as Assistant Coach and Player Evaluation Project Manager. Dineen’s hockey career includes playing with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees before attending Denver University, and after graduation going on to play 8 years in the CHL, IHL and AHL.
After serving as Head Coach for the Merritt Centennials, Dineen moved onto pro scouting, responsible for evaluating free agency and trades as well as playoff pre scout. A proud moment in his career was being on staff with the Colorado Avalanche when they won the 1996 Stanley Cup Championship. Dineen has also scouted for the Vancouver Canucks, LA Kings and most recently, the Nashville Predators.
During his playing career, Dineen worked summers as an instructor with Okanagan Hockey Camps in Penticton, eventually becoming responsible for on ice content and staffing. He is excited to be back at Okanagan Hockey Academy working with the student athletes both on and off the ice.
Mikaela played for 4 years (2016-2020) at the University of Lethbridge, earning her Bachelor of Health Science in Addictions Counselling degree. Previous to this, Reay competed in the CSSHL through her high school career. Reay’s coaching experience includes working as an Assistant Coach at the U13 & U15 levels as well as working as an Apprentice Coach at the 2022 Alberta Challenge Cup. Reay looks forward to utilizing her skills with all of the female student-athletes in our program.
McLean is a former professional athlete for Aisulu Almaty competing in the European Women’s Hockey League. With the team doubling as the Kazakhstan National Team, Erin gained additional international experience by competing in IIHF sanctioned events such as Worlds and the Olympic Qualifications. In 2018, McLean worked at Hockey Canada within their Women’s National Team Department organizing selection camps and working with Team Japan.
Connor, a native of Cranbrook, BC played Jr hockey with the Fernie Ghostriders and the Golden Rockets. Since retiring as a player, McLuckie has been developing his coaching skills. His first experience with coaching was as an Assistant Coach with the local U18 team. From there, Connor would further develop his coaching skills as an On Ice Instructor for 6 summer camp seasons. McLuckie joined the East Kootenay U18 Avalanche Regional Zone Program in 2019, first as an Assistant Coach before moving to the Head Coach role in 2021. In addition to his work at the Zone level, Connor worked with the Sicamous Eagles in the KIJHL, helping them to recruit for the 2022-2023 season. Connor looks forward to building his coaching resume and working with the OHA student-athletes.
Kyle Spencer brings a remarkable wealth of experience and a deep passion for the game, dedicating his life to hockey, both as a player and a coach. Spencer played in the AJHL for 5 years, gaining invaluable on-ice experience. He continued his playing career with notable stops at N.A.I.T (ACAC Canadian Champions) and Red Deer College (ACAC Silver Medalist). Kyle’s coaching journey began in 1993 with the St. Albert Merchants JR B team as an Assistant Coach. Over the years, he has contributed to the development of young talent at various levels, from midget to junior hockey, working with the St. Albert Raiders and Valley West Hawks. Kyle led the Greater Vancouver Canadians U18 to a silver medal in the BCEHL and earning the well-deserved title of “Coach of the Year.” Kyle’s deep roots in hockey, combined with his extensive coaching experience, his dedication to player development and his proven track record of success make him an invaluable addition to our coaching staff.
Dampy Brar brings an incredible wealth of experience and passion for the game of hockey. Born and raised in Sparwood, BC, Brar played Junior Hockey with the Elk Valley Raiders and the Fernie Ghostriders. His dedication and skill paved the way for a successful career spanning 7 years of Pro Hockey across the ECHL, CHL, WCHL, and IHL. Dampy transitioned seamlessly into coaching, spending five years with the AMP Academy in Calgary. His commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity in hockey led him to co-found the ground-breaking APNA Hockey Program. This program serves as a sports network that uplifts and supports diverse communities in their hockey journey, from grassroots to elite levels. Brar’s contributions to the hockey community have been recognized and celebrated. He was honored with the NHL’s Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award in 2020 for his outstanding commitment to community service. His dedication also earned him a spot among the Top 20 Compelling Calgarians in the same year, further highlighting his positive impact on the sport and the lives he touches. Beyond the ice, Dampy has made his mark as an organizer and player for the Team India Ball Hockey Program from 2009 to 2017, showcasing his multifaceted talents and love for the game.
HEAD GOALTENDING COACH
Lucas Gore has been training OHA goalies since 2020. In addition to his coaching duties at OHA, Lucas has also been the Goalie Coach for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) since 2019. Gore is also part owner/partner of the goaltending company The Goalie Group and is responsible for the management of its Interior Division. Before joining the Spokane Gore spent time coaching with the Kamloops Blazers (WHL) and Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL).
Prior to coaching Gore played one season with Vernon Vipers (BCHL) before playing three full seasons with Chilliwack Bruins (WHL). Lucas moved on to play four years at the University of Regina then finished his playing career with Stockton Thunder (ECHL). Gore is currently working to finish his MBA at TRU/NVIT through the Gaglardi School of Business.
The 2023-2024 marks Jesse’s 10th season as Goalie Coach with the Okanagan Hockey Academy. In addition to working with the OHA student-athletes, Plewis is also the Goalie Coach for the Penticton Vees (BCHL) and the Spokane Chiefs (WHL). His previous WHL experience includes a year as an Assistant Goaltending Coach/Consultant with the Portland Winterhawks. During the off-season, Jesse is a Goalie Coach with Okanagan Hockey Camps
Larissa graduated from the University of British Columbia, School of Kinesiology before moving to Ontario to complete an Honours Bachelors of Applied Heath Sciences in Athletic Therapy from Sheridan College. Gemer began interning with high school hockey and football programs in in Wisconsin in 2008 and has continued working with various sports such as hockey, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, and basketball at levels ranging from youth to university since moving to Canada. She has worked multiple seasons with both UBC’s and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Varsity Hockey teams. Larissa is a Certified Athletic Therapist in Canada and Certified Athletic Trainer in the USA.
SPORT SCIENCE LEAD
Twible completed his Bachelor of Human Kinetics (BHK, 2020), and Master of Health and Exercise Science (MSc, 2023) at UBC – Okanagan. During this time, his academic focus involved exercise physiology, biomechanics, and neuromuscular fatigue. Twible has worked with athletes in the NHL, CHL, NCAA, and Canadian Alpine Ski Team. With a research focus, Twible integrates sport technology and objective data to improve sport performance, monitor training, and optimize youth athlete development. Twible is currently enrolled in the doctorate program at UBC – Okanagan, where his research will lead to a PhD in Health and Exercise Science. Twible joined OHA in September 2020.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH
Jagger Cohen has an impressive background in Fitness and Health Promotion from Niagara College, and a BSc. in Human Kinetics from the University of Guelph, Jagger brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to OHA Penticton. Jagger’s coaching journey started during his fourth year at the University of Guelph when he collaborated with the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, embarking on a path of guiding varsity and youth academy teams. His dedication and expertise didn’t go unnoticed, leading him to be honored with the prestigious C.A.R.E. award for the top student strength and conditioning intern in the Gryphons Performance Strength and Conditioning class of 2023. At the heart of Jagger’s coaching philosophy lies a foundation of science-based research, designed to elevate athletic performance while fostering holistic growth. With his commitment to optimizing potential, Jagger is set to make a big impact on our team’s strategy for this season’s strength and conditioning.
HUMAN PERFORMANCE CONSULTANT
Mark Fitzgerald has spent the last 15 years working with athletes from a variety of sports at every level. He began his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization and also became the Head of Performance and Nutrition for the Canadian Hockey League. Most recently, Fitzgerald was the Head of Performance for the Anaheim Ducks. Fitzgerald is the founder of Elite Training Systems in Ontario, which has grown to four locations servicing athletes from all major and minor sports. Fitzgerald also serves as a consultant for a number of health and performance organizations including Under Armour, CHL, Ontario Tech University, and Toronto Aeros Rugby.
RESIDENTIAL LIFE COORDINATOR
Astles brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in working with youth and their families, through his work as a social worker with the BC Ministry of Children and Families. In addition, he has a unique understanding of the billet life – both as a host family through his childhood and as a billeted player during his time with the Seattle Breakers in the WHL. Garth feels this position has brought him full circle, back to the game he is most passionate about.
David Nackoney has been part of the Okanagan Hockey Academy since 2003. He has a Bachelor of Education degree and a Masters in Counselling from the University of Brandon Manitoba. Nackoney played university basketball and won two Canadian Championships and was named All Canadian.
Dave’s role includes, but is not limited to:
- Course Programming
- Ensure course work is up to date and done to the best of ability
- Personal Counselling
- Keeping students on track with NCAA requirements
- Working with Post-Secondary Schools
Dr. Rau has his Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) Diploma in Sports and Exercise, in addition to his MD credentials. Since earning his CASEM, Dr. Rau has been providing care for teams at the WHL, BCHL, and KIJHL levels, including the WHL Kelowna Rockets and the BCHL Penticton Vees. A Penticton native, Dr. Rau played his minor hockey years within the Penticton Minor Hockey Association system and, between 2018 and 2020, volunteered his time with the PMHA as a Volunteer Coach with the U15 age group. He has completed several hockey coaching certification courses. Dr. Rau is very excited to join the OHA team and to have the opportunity to work with high-performance student-athletes, as well as the outstanding OHA medical team.