Did he actually resign, or did the Red Deer Rebels simply decide to go in another direction?
“I have long history with Brent (Rebels owner and president Sutter) so I guess we chose to say I’ve gone to do other opportunities. I think that’s a fair way to leave it,” said Andy Nowicki, who was replaced by Brent Belecki during the summer after serving 13 years as the Rebels goaltender coach.
Whatever, Nowicki now has more time to pursue his new business — Andy Nowicki Leadership Training.
“I train teenagers in leadership skills, communication skills, team building and service to their communities,” he said recently, after arriving back in Red Deer from Nunavut, where he worked with Inuit teenagers for two weeks.
“I’ve also worked under contract in Alberta and the other three western provinces,” said Nowicki. “My clients are mostly schools and/or municipalities
that want to invest in youth to be leaders both today and tomorrow.”
To suggest that Nowicki had an eventful summer would be an understatement, since he also worked as a goaltending instructor at the Canadian national women’s under-18 and under-22 camps in Toronto.
Nowicki plans to be busy this winter, as well. He’ll find time to assist as a goalie coach with at least one of the two Red Deer major bantam teams and will be available as a consultant to minor hockey goalies in and around Red Deer.
In addition, he’s landed a major gig as a part-time goaltending consultant with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL.
“I will consult to their goaltenders part-time, just like I did with the Rebels,” said Nowicki.
The Red Deer resident was with the Rebels from the club’s inaugural season of 1992-93 to 2001, when he left to take a coaching position with the Los Angeles Kings following the Rebels’ Memorial Cup championship. He returned to the WHL club five years later when the Kings dismissed their entire coaching staff.
Nowicki will miss his association with the Rebels, but admitted that with the launch of his new enterprise that he might not have been able to commit fully to the position.
“In order to pursue this business I needed a different level of flexibility than what I had (with the Rebels),” he said.