Jack Moran will be the next Whaler boys varsity hockey coach this winter. Moran will have big shoes to fill replacing former head coach Scott Corbett, who stepped down this offseason after leading the program to a 42-27-9 record over four seasons, three state tournaments and an Elite Eight Appearance, and a C&I League Title in 2021.
But for Moran this position isn’t anything new. Moran was the program’s coach in its inaugural season in 2008 and held the position until 2016 when he stepped down and was replaced by DJ Watkins. Moran said he was ecstatic to see how well Watkins and Corbett did leading the program and hopes to keep that momentum going.
“I was very thrilled to get the call from Travis (Lombardi) and was kind of feeling like it could be a long shot,” Moran said. “I was very excited about it and I was excited about it because I have been involved with this program for a while and really enjoyed coaching the team for seven years. The team just keeps getting better and better. I feel like I came in at a really good time and we will see a lot of really good things happen with these kids.”
Moran said his team will be one that plays the final period like the first. It will be a group that maintains a strong, aggressive forecheck and backcheck all game long. He takes pride in the endurance side of the game and believes a team that is well-conditioned is one of the hardest groups to beat.
“I have always found and I think the most success from a team will come from the team that is best conditioned,” he said. “These kids already know how to play hockey. Obviously we are going to try to fine tune their skills a little bit and put our systems in there, but as I have always told these kids, the team that always has the most gas left in the tank in the third period is always going to be the team that is going to win. You have to have great cardio, core, and leg strength in order to keep the fire burning for the entire game.”
Moran’s son and former Whaler hockey player Jack Moran Jr. will be an assistant coach along with Ray Patrick, a former NPD officer who has been around hockey his whole life and been a close friend of Moran’s for 35 years. Moran added he would like to add one more assistant to his staff and has a couple of candidates in mind who he will be reaching out to in the coming days.
“It has been a few years but it is exciting to be back,” he said. “Where this program is now compared to ten years ago is incredible. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off.”