If the Briercrest College and Seminary Clippers can match the personality of their new coach, they’re going to be playing some passionate hockey this year.
Dalton Stoltz, a Canadian who played and then coached university hockey in the United States, was named the Clippers’ coach earlier this week. He is looking to share his passion for the game with his team.
“I think there are a lot of life lessons that can be learned from the game and I’m going to be preaching passion, passion, passion, hard work, hard work, hard work and discipline, discipline, discipline,” he said. “I want to see that in their lives at the rink and I want to see that in their studies and I to see that even in their spiritual life.”
“They’ve got to be passionate. There’s no room for apathy in life or in the game and so I want them to be passionate. Nothing in life is ever easy and so we want to make sure that they are working hard and you can expect that.”
The coach’s passion showed this past year when he lead the Christopher Newport University team to the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference championship, the first in team history. His championship team also had a cumulative GPA of over 3.0.
Prior to being named the head coach at the university, Stoltz was as an assistant coach while also serving as the university’s pastor.
His start in coaching began after four years of playing for Liberty University. As a player he helped Liberty qualify for four national championships. He then completed his MA in Christian Leadership while serving as an assistant coach at Liberty.
He wasn’t anywhere near the ice when he heard about this job opening.
“I was actually on a missions trip,” he said. “I was leading a missions trip in El Salvador when I heard about the position.”
Athletic Director Nigel Mullan acted quickly once Stoltz applied for the position because he has the attributes of an excellent coach.
“We thought that he had the excitement and hunger that it is going to take to continue to build the program and I also thought that he had some of the experience, both playing and coaching, that would add value to our attempt to build a championship program.”
Mullan added that Stoltz brings a fresh perspective, has a personality that draws people in to his vision and has valuable experience coaching at other Christian institutions. He also knows who he will be representing.
“He wants to serve the Lord and he wants his team to represent what we are doing and he wants to buy in to the overall vision of Briercrest.”
Stoltz and his family are quickly trying to relocate to Caronport before the team hits the ice in September.
He isn’t bothered that he has inherited a team of players that he does not know.
“For this year they are my family,” he said. “Just like they didn’t get to pick me, I didn’t get to pick them, but that is all right, we can work at having a great relationship and learning from one another and growing and being the best that we possibly can be together.”
The coach and his wife will miss their family and friends in Virginia, but they are excited about the opportunity presented before them.
“We’re sad to say goodbye to them but we’re both excited about what lies ahead and just how God made it clear that we were supposed to go and so we’re just excited for what He has in store.”