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Gardiner MacDougall is the new head coach of the Moncton Wildcats. Image: Moncton Wildcats Zoom News conference

UPDATE: Moncton Wildcats name new head coach, GM

By Tara Clow May 15, 2024 | 11:14 AM

It’s official–the Moncton Wildcats have named Gardiner MacDougall their new head coach.

“Seventeen hours, 22 minutes. Shortest retirement in hockey history,” Gardiner said after he was introduced on Wednesday morning at a news conference held at the Avenir Centre.

It was just last night MacDougall announced he was retiring as coach of the U-N-B men’s hockey team after 24 years.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to work with my son in the best organization in junior hockey in Canada.  It’s a miracle, a dream come true.”

That was the other announcement during Wednesday’s news conference.  Gardiner’s son, Taylor MacDougall, has been named the Moncton Wildcats’ general manager and director of hockey operations.

Image: Moncton Wildcats Zoom News conference

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be in front of you today. I want to thank Mr. Irving for trusting me and providing me with the opportunity to work in such a world-class organization. As a proud New Brunswick lawyer, having the chance to work and continue to build upon the Moncton Wildcats sterling reputation is a thrill of a lifetime,” Taylor says.

Taylor says with his father, they are in step and have that trust in each other, but they are also different and can also challenge each other at the same time.

“We certainly know nationwide Mr. Irving’s passion for being the best. I simulated the best being, Better Every Single Time. We’re always trying to get better,” Gardiner says.

Taylor adds that the Moncton Wildcats brand is recognized across North America and it is a great responsibility to uphold and expand upon that brand.

“I recognize the expectations are high, but our expectations of ourselves are even higher. We will work together every day, demanding that things are done the right way to the highest standards,” Taylor says.

For Gardiner, it’s all about family. First, his immediate family. His wife, son and daughter.

“The second family is a team. It’s always about the team, and it’s always about the players. My job is to make a difference in every player’s life. I live life as a servant mentality. We’ll try to do whatever we can to help our players excel and be the best they can be. If everyone can just get a little bit better each and every day, we’ll have a very, very exciting product for the fans to come and watch. We’ve always looked forward to making a difference in the community,” Gardiner stressed.

Robert Irving says it takes great people to lead any organization. “Both of them have been very, very successful. There’s nothing like a father and son working together as a team. My dad has been a mentor in my life in business. He has provided me with guidance and direction to help me succeed and I talk to him every night. He is my inspiration. This is a special moment for a father and son together to do great things in Greater Moncton.”

Moncton Wildcats Owner Robert Irving. Image: Moncton Wildcats Zoom News conference