Beyond the most prominent members of staff directing the North Bay Battalion are several others providing important support to the efforts going into the Ontario Hockey League club’s success.
While general manager Adam Dennis, coach Ryan Oulahen and assistants Scott Wray and Bill Houlder, for example, are well known to fans, a quartet of others has been added to the off-ice roster, supplementing the likes of director of scouting Charles Abbott and Peter Renzetti, director of strength and conditioning.
Jeff Bateman, Mavric Parks, Mark Bruner and Caleb Mady all bring specific attributes to their various responsibilities with the Battalion.
Bateman, a longtime scout with the club, has been promoted to director of player personnel to aid assistant GM John Winstanley in monitoring the Battalion’s pool of prospects as well as duties related to the OHL Priority Selection, Under-18 Priority Selection and the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
A centre with the Battalion for its first three seasons based in Brampton culminating in 2000-01 and a fourth-round selection of the Dallas Stars in 1999 in what was then called the National Hockey League Entry Draft, Bateman, 40, played three professional seasons before finishing his playing career at St. Thomas University in Fredericton.
Goaltending coach Parks, 31, played four OHL seasons with the Kitchener Rangers, Kingston Frontenacs, Barrie Colts and Saginaw Spirit before five seasons at the University of Prince Edward Island and three-plus years of pro hockey across North America.
Parks spent the last three seasons as goaltending coach for the junior A Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canada Hockey League, where he worked with the Battalion’s Reece Proulx. He also has worked with Joe Vrbetic, a Montreal Canadiens draftee to the NHL, in the offseason at the Complete Goaltending Development training centre at Ottawa.
Bruner, the Battalion’s mental performance coach, is a Canada Research Chair in youth development through sport and physical activity and a professor in the School of Physical and Health Education at Nipissing University. He received a doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan and completed his postdoctoral training at Queen’s University in Kingston.
The 46-year-old has published more than 70 academic journal articles, nine chapters and co-edited the book The Power of Groups in Youth Sport. He also is an active review board member for the publication The Sport Psychologist and a learning facilitator for the Coaching Association of Canada.
He has been a mental performance consultant for 19 years and worked with elite youth and university sport teams, the Canadian Armed Forces and business corporations.
Mady, who has taught strength and sport conditioning at Canadore College since 2019, is the Troops’ strength coach. Mady, 26, has coached at the USport level in hockey, basketball and volleyball, at the national level in powerlifting and at the provincial level in Olympic weightlifting.
His credentials include a Master of Science in kinesiology and designation as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, as well as National Coaching Certification Program and USA Weightlifting Olympic coaching certifications.