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Former NO Knights coach joins the Sicamous Eagles flock

‘I’m looking forward to helping them take the next step in their development’
Liam McOnie joins the Sicamous Eagles as the team’s new head coach after being the bench boss of recently relocated North Okanagan Knights since 2021. (KIJHL photo)

The Sicamous Eagles have someone new to rule the roost.

In a May 17 media release, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) team announced Liam McOnie as the new head coach, with the position left vacant after Nick Deschenes left in April.

The Armstrong native joins the Eagles after three years of coaching the North Okanagan Knights until that franchise was sold and relocated to Quesnel. That loss is Sicamous’ gain with McOnie.

“Liam’s recent successful season with the North Okanagan Knights made him a more than desirable candidate to step behind the Eagles bench,” the release reads. “Not only his coaching skills, but his philosophy put him on the top of the list of candidates vying for the sought after position.”

Describing the Eagles as having a strong foundation of skilled players, McOnie said he’s excited to join the team and is “looking forward to helping them take the next step in their development.

“This being the Eagles’ 30th anniversary season is a big year,” he added. “And we want to push hard to be a very competitive team in the league.”

Additionally, his experience both as a coach and player have taught him the importance of developing relationships with all stakeholders in each organization, whether it be the players, fellow staff, arena staff or bus drivers.

“Liam believes in maintaining a positive image and engaging in the community to ensure the long-term health and culture of the team and organization as a whole,” the release adds. “Liam has a passion for the game and believes in developing player-coach relationships. Welcome aboard Liam.”

That engagement included having the team represented at community events such as Remembrance Day, Christmas Light Up and more, as well as a presence in local schools.

In addition to his own playing and general experience behind the bench, McOnie is also an accomplished goaltending coach who has worked with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets and Tri-City Americans in Washington.

McOnie is now ready to hit the ground running, and looking forward to a summer of “recruiting, meeting all the returning players and getting started in September.”

Read more: Sicamous Eagles head coach Nick Deschenes flies the coop

Read more: Low attendance a factor in relocation of North Okanagan Knights: GM

About the Author: Heather Black

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