The Estevan Bruins Board of Directors are proud to announce that the Junior A Hockey Club has named Jason Tatarnic as the new Head Coach and General Manager ahead of the 2020/21 season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).
“We are thrilled to be able to bring in a head coach and general manager of Jason’s calibre to our club,” expressed George Sereggela, incoming Board President of the Estevan Bruins. “Jason is highly respected by his peers, and we as a board believe he is the right man to lead the Bruins to immediate and sustained success on and off the ice.”
“I’m very excited to have been chosen for the position as Head Coach and General Manager of the Bruins,” stated Tatarnic. “Estevan has a rich tradition, this program has been around for a long time and I’m looking forward to working with the board of directors to continue building that legacy and provide an entertaining product for the fans in Estevan.”
As a Head Coach & General Manager, Tatarnic (TA-TAR-NIC) has compiled a 470-172-14-16 record primarily with the Woodstock Slammers (MHL) and the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL). Under his leadership and guidance, his teams have won league championships, regional championships, runner-up in the 2012 RBC Cup, and as a General Manager, Tatarnic built a national championship team with the Chilliwack Chiefs in 2017/18.
On top of his impressive coaching record, Tatarnic (47) joins the Bruins regarded as one of the top recruiting minds across North America.
“While he has won a lot, Jason believes, like we do, that Junior A hockey is about more than winning. It is about developing character in young men and helping them in the pursuit of their life goals,” stated Sereggela. “One former player told us no one works harder to get his players scholarships than Jason, and the player was extremely grateful for that. The fact over 170 of his former players have advanced to NCAA, CIS/USports, or pro hockey is a testament to that.”
“As a coach, you want to teach the players the right way to play the game. You want to show them that you’re here to help develop them, not just on the ice but off the ice,” states Tatarnic. “You want to prepare them for the CHL, the NCAA or USports programs, for the next level. That’s what we have to be about.”
“When you follow that process, you develop good players. When you develop good players, you have a good program…and that leads to success.”
Tatarnic is tasked with taking over an Estevan Bruins team that is positioned to be one of the top contenders in the SJHL in 2020/21. As well, the club is already looking forward to hosting the Centennial Cup in Estevan in May 2022. While Tatarnic is obviously aware of the unique opportunity to lead the Bruins as hosts of the National Championship, his purpose in accepting the position runs far deeper than getting results on the ice.
“I’m sure the National Championship lured a lot of people to apply for the job, but that wasn’t on my mind at all,” adds Tatarnic. “For me, I want to work for good people. I want to work for a community that is behind the team and it will be great to work out of a first class facility in Affinity Place.”
“A former employer told us that his teams are always well prepared. His level of preparedness was evident in both his written submission and his interview,” adds Sereggela. “His previous two employers and an owner of a competing club told us he had a recruiting network and ability that was unmatched in North America and that is reflected in the winning percentage of his past teams.”
Over 50 highly credentialed candidates applied for the position, with the search committee dedicating many hours vetting candidates before concluding that Tatarnic checked all the boxes.
Jason will begin in his role immediately, and will be relocating to Estevan with his wife Sara and their three daughters. The Bruins look forward to welcoming Jason and his family to our community and believe strongly they will be an asset to the community.