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Home again: Jr. Sharks grads back coaching youth teams

 

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For eight San Jose Jr. Sharks coaches, the adage “you can’t go home again” is not very accurate.

Greg Angus, Jacquie Audet, Chris Buchanan, Ryan Gaynor, Roy Grandov, Vaughn Reuter, Will Shukait and Theo Tydingco all grew up playing for the Jr. Sharks and are back coaching in the club this season after being away playing junior hockey and college hockey at various locations across the country.

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Audet, who is an assistant for the 12U AAA and 14U AAA girls teams as well as serving as a goalie coach in the association, played NCAA hockey at St. Cloud State and Lake Forest College.

“I’ve always had a huge passion for coaching,” said Audet. “From the end of my youth career and throughout my college career, it’s something that I’ve made sure to invest and become better in. I knew that I wanted to coach after retiring, so when I moved back home, it just made sense to reach out to the Jr. Sharks and give back to the program that has helped shape me not only as a hockey player but a person as well. I grew up in that rink, and it feels like home.”

A graduate of the NAHL and EHL, as well as Wesleyan University, Tydingco is the club’s 15U AAA assistant coach this season.

“I’ve known for a while that I wanted to stay in the game, and I wanted to give back to the club that gave me every opportunity to play,” Tydingco said. “John Beaulieu called me after my season had just ended at Wesleyan asking if I could coach 15U AAA with him and I couldn’t pass it up. Playing AAA was a blast growing up in San Jose and so far, it’s been the same way being able to coach it. Tons of talent in the Bay Area, and I’m excited to be a part of that development and watch these players and the club grow as a whole.”

Tydingco also noted that some things have changed since he played for the Jr. Sharks.

“There’s a substantial difference in the way we treat off-ice training now,” said Tydingco. “Jay Thomas and John Germaine have done a tremendous job to change the landscape with how we think about training, injury prevention, and gaining that edge over the summer, which is something I see many people look past.”

Buchanan, the Jr. Sharks’ 16U AAA assistant coach this year, played in the NAHL and USHL and later for NCAA Division I Bentley.

“The Jr. Sharks gave me an amazing work ethic,” said Buchanan. “We have a gym that’s open almost all day with great trainers, coaches that will help you out individually at any time, and people at the rink that make you feel comfortable to be around so much. They gave me the confidence to dream and achieve whatever I wanted, all while maintaining my work ethic to get there.”

Reuter is the 16U AAA and 18U AAA assistant and went to Boston College for academics.

“Choosing to come back to the Jr. Sharks program was easy,” Reuter said. “The familiarity of the facility as well as members of the hockey department and coaching staff made the transition seamless. The commitment of the Jr. Sharks to develop life skills for young people through the sport of hockey aligned with my personal belief of positive mentorship through coaching and sports.”

An assistant with the 14U AAA team, Gaynor attended the University of Colorado-Boulder for academics.

“The Jr. Sharks focus on hard work and pushing each individual and team to achieve more than what they believe they can,” Gaynor said. “This mindset of never being satisfied has always stuck with me, and helped me realize that anything is possible on and off the ice, as long as you put the work in.”

Grandov (16U AAA, 18U AAA assistant, played NA3HL, NAHL, University of Arizona), Shukait (18U AA coach, Squirt A coach, travel goalie coach, played Jr. Sharks 18U AAA) and Angus (first-time coach, Squirt B, in-house coach, played Jr. Sharks house) round out the impressive list of alumni.

— Matt Mackinder

(Oct. 26, 2018)