Brandin Cote’s hockey coaching career has come a long way in a short period of time.
In 2011 the Swift Current, Sask., native pulled the plug on his playing career and concentrated full time on his education degree at RDC. But his desire to stay in the game remained and coaching was the obvious road to take.
There was also a perfect fit for him with the RDC Queens.
He met Queens head coach Trevor Keeper during the 2010-11 school year and two hooked up with the Queens for the 2011-12 season.
Cote took the next step the following year, joining the Bentley Generals, who he played for two seasons, as their head coach and led them to the Allan Cup championship.
“I worked with some great people with the Generals and it was a different dynamic,” said Cote, who was in Red Deer last week as an assistant coach with Team Alberta, which will compete in Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“There was also the pressure of the of the Allan Cup which was a good stepping stone for me. I attribute a step like that and working with RDC to where I am today. I went in the right direction and learned the ins and outs of becoming a coach. “
Today the 37-year-old is not only working with Team Alberta but is an assistant coach with the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.
“Hockey Alberta has been good to me and I’ve been fortunate to get an opportunity like this, to coach in the Winter Games, as well as coaching in the Western Hockey League.”
Cote grew up in Swift Current and played five full years in the WHL with the Spokane Chiefs. He played in the ECHL and the American Hockey League before spending two years in Europe. His final season was in 2008-09 with the Fischtown Pinguins of the German 2nd Division. A knee injury brought his pro career to an end. He did return and play with the Generals but he knew he had to move on.
“I decided to get my teaching degree for a reason, as a backup plan as I worked on trying to develop myself as a coach,” he explained. “And I was very fortunate to work with a lot of good people and people I could learn from.”
Cote coached one season with the Generals before joining the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs. From there he signed with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL as an assistant coach for a season before returning home and working with Keeper and the RDC Kings.
“I took a sabbatical from teaching (middle school in Red Deer) and signed a one-year contract with PA,” he said.
“I could have returned, but I had a young family and my wife was also in Red Deer teaching. It made more sense for me to return home and we had a good year at RDC.”
But when the opportunity to return home to Swift Current came up he jumped as it, despite the team being in a rebuilding mode.
“Returning to my home town made sense to me. It was an opportunity to continue to learn and grow. I’m happy for Prince Albert this season but I’m comfortable in Swift Current.
“I enjoy working with kids and there’s great people involved so it’s a win-win. Being involved with a program building from the ground up is great for me as well.”
Cote stressed he loved the teaching part of the game.
“I believe that’s one of my strengths,” he added. “I love being involved in the game it’s a passion of mine to keep working at it and hopefully things continue to fall into place and I can make a career out of it.”
Cote is no longer teaching and has a three-year contract with the Broncos.
“I’ll be there for sure for the three years and then see where I go from there. I”ll just keep working at it, taking a step at a time.”
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org