By Brad Spencer
The OPRF Hockey Club recently announced that it has hired Dave Dyson to serve as the organization's hockey director and varsity head coach.
Dyson comes to OPRF after a successful seven-year run with the Bartlett Wildhawks Hockey Club.
"When I started in Bartlett, we barely had enough kids for one team," said Dyson. "For the 2012-2013 season, we were able to field three very competitive teams."
Dyson helped transform Bartlett into a hockey powerhouse, taking the varsity team to the Blackhawk Cup Championship game in 2012 and the semifinals in 2013. He was named the Metro West Coach of the Year in 2012 and received the Lori Maly Distinguished Service Award in 2010.
"Coaching hockey at this level is about more than developing better hockey players," he said. "It's about developing better people. Over 80-percent of our kids were on the honor roll last year and we'll expect a strong commitment to academics and community service from the players in Oak Park."
Dyson comes to the Huskies program excited for a fresh start and well aware of the challenges presented by the renovation at Ridgeland Common. "We'll be kind of a nomadic club next season but we'll use it to our advantage to shape our identity and build a culture for success."
The Huskies' spring clinics started the first week of April at Johnny's Ice House East and run through the end of May. The clinics are open to bantam, incoming freshman and returning OPRF players and have given Dyson the chance to meet players and parents.
"There's a real sense of excitement in the hockey community," he said. "We're going to build a Top 10 or 15 hockey program here in Oak Park. It will be hard work but I can't wait to get started."