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Battalion assistant coach lands top job with Owen Sound Attack

'We are absolutely thrilled for Scott Wray and his family'

It was a busy news week for the Battalion but lost in the shuffle might have been that for the first time since December 10, 2019, the team will have to rearrange its coaching staff.

While head coach, and recently promoted Assistant General Manager Ryan Oulahen returns, along with Bill Houlder, Scott Wray has been named the new head coach of the Owen Sound Attack.

“I want to thank Scott Wray for his contribution to the North Bay Battalion during his seven years as an assistant coach,” stated owner Scott Abbott. “We have the greatest respect for his abilities and we wish him every success in his new role in Owen Sound.

“As we can see with his appointment in Owen Sound, our achievements in the last three years have not gone unnoticed in the hockey world, and opportunities do arise for people.”

For Wray, the move is almost a mirror of his OHL playing days. The scoring winger was drafted by the then Owen Sound Platers in the fourth round of the 1996 OHL Priority Selection, 55th overall, before being traded to the North Bay Centennials midway through his rookie year.

“I’m really excited, it's a privilege to be here. It’s such an exciting moment for my family and I,” Wray said via the Attack website. “It’s really come full circle for me, I started my junior career here and I went to North Bay, I’ve been in North Bay for seven years and now I’m back here to coach.”

“This was a very rewarding exercise to go through and we were overwhelmed by the interest with 45+ candidates applying,” explained Attack General Manager Dale DeGray. “Throughout the entire process, I kept coming back to one interview and resume, and that was Scott Wray.

“He checked a lot of boxes; his expectations of the team, how we need to play and his communication was paramount in the decision. Knowing that he is familiar with the city having played in Owen Sound, didn’t hurt either. Scott has a very good understanding of the make-up and expectations we have going into each season.

“This is going to be a great fit, and it will be up to the two of us to put together the best staff we have ever had. After going to the conference finals, the last three seasons, and being a major part of that coaching staff, I feel it’s only fitting he gets an opportunity to run his own bench and be a head coach in the OHL.”

Ryan Oulahen, Battalion head coach, is sad to see his assistant coach leave. 

However, he is equally thrilled to see Wray move up to head coach.

“We are absolutely thrilled for Scott Wray and his family. We talk about the working relationship, I have probably spent more time with him than my own wife in the last three years, to be honest. People don’t realize that is the relationship you build with your coaches, and I am absolutely thrilled for him.

“I pushed him along in this, I helped him in every way I could, this is a good moment for him and his family, he’s deserving of this opportunity.”

Before joining the Battalion, Wray had been at the helm of the NOJHL’s Powassan Voodoos for three seasons. Going a combined 101-46-13 in three regular seasons from 2014/15-2016/17, Wray led the team on an unprecedented run of 12-0 in the 2017 playoffs to help the Voodoos capture the NOJHL title in just their third year of existence. That championship remains the only in team history for Powassan, although the team did make it back to the finals this past season, ultimately falling to Sudbury.

“Wray did a tremendous job as a head coach holding the players accountable,” Voodoos GM Chris Dawson said. “He led our expansion team to the NOJHL final four in 2014/15, so I am happy to see him get the opportunity at the major junior level as a head coach with the Attack.

“His passion and drive for the game will help him big time. We are super proud of our first Voodoo head coach making that jump and really, the sky is the limit for him.”

As for the Battalion, the team will begin searching for Wray’s replacement.

“Just like your vision of your team, your players, we have a vision of how our staff operates, and those roles and responsibilities,” Oulahen said. “We are confident we will get somebody in that will be a fit for our staff.”

Wray becomes the second North Bay Battalion assistant coach to take on a head coaching job in the OHL joining the Greyhounds head coach John Dean, whom Wray replaced in 2017. 

The Battalion organization says Wray's promotion is another indication that the organization is developing coaches as well as players.

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Kortney Kenney

About the Author: Kortney Kenney

A graduate of Canadore College’s Radio Broadcasting course, Kortney is just getting started in the news world
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