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Ryerson and UBC Interim Coaches Parlay Success into Full-Time Gigs

By Randy Lucenti on May 18, 2017

The Ryerson Rams men's hockey team has named Johnny Duco as its head coach for the upcoming U SPORTS (formerly CIS) 2017-18 season. Duco served as interim head coach in 2016-17. (Alex D'Addese photo)

A pair of U SPORTS (formerly CIS) men's hockey coaches have had the interim tag removed from their portfolios after successful campaigns in 2016-17.

Johnny Duco of the OUA's Ryerson Rams and Sven Butenschon of the Canada West's University of British Columbia Thunderbirds have been named head coaches of their respective programs after spending all of last season auditioning for the roles.

Elevated to interim head coach last year after serving three seasons as an assistant, Duco guided the Rams to one of their most successful seasons in program history.

The Rams finished with a regular season record of 22-4-2 and defeated Laurier Golden Hawks in the opening round of the playoffs before dropping the OUA West Division semifinal series to the University of Windsor Lancers.

Before beginning his university coaching career, Duco spent three seasons in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) and two as head coach of the Bradford Rattlers of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL), where he led that squad to a perfect season (42-0) and Russell Cup championship in 2012-13.

He also played in the NCAA with the Oswego State Lakers.

After serving as an assistant coach with UBC in 2015-16, Butenschon was also an interim head coach in 2016-17 where he guided the Thunderbirds to four straight wins to end the regular season which earned them a spot in the Canada West playoffs.

The 41-year-old, who hails from Itzehoe, Germany, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins (third round, 57th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft and played 140 games with Pittsburgh, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and finally the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged defenceman also played for Germany in the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver.

In another off-ice move, the University of Moncton Aigles Bleus men's hockey team announced the hiring of Jean-François Damphousse as its director of hockey operations. 

An outstanding goaltender for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL, Damphousse was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the first round (24th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He played pro hockey for parts of nine seasons before becoming owner and head coach of the Dieppe Commandos. He also served as goalie coach for the Wildcats in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

His new posting with the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) program will include the recruitment of players as well as being a link to the community.

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By Randy Lucenti| May 18, 2017
Categories:  College
Keywords:  U Sports

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