Thomas Joins Flames Staff

In a major addition to their on-ice leadership, First State Ice Hockey has secured veteran coach Bob Thomas to join the First State Flames coaching staff for the 2020-21 season.

“A good hockey player is tough to play against, but a smart hockey player is lethal,” said Thomas, who will join Sean Cannon and Gary Yovanovich in coaching the Flames’ 16U and 18U teams in addition to his existing duties as an assistant coach for Salesianum’s scholastic program and colour commentator for University of Delaware games which air on Delaware Hockey Night.

“With the addition of a coach with Bob’s expertise and style, we deepen the core of our coaching staff,” said Cannon, First State hockey director. “Bob has developed some of the best players to come out of Delaware, and we are excited that he has joined our cause at First State Ice Hockey.”

Thomas, whose coaching career began in 1978 and has achieved Level 5 status as a USA Hockey certified coach, brings a keen eye and a wealth of “hockey IQ” to the First State program, particularly in terms of defence and situational awareness, as well as reinforcing the building blocks of the game.

“Sean (Cannon) and I both agree that we see so many players at the high school level that haven’t gotten coached up with simple things — and it’s not their fault,” said Thomas. “But they just have to work so much harder to achieve things. I think the biggest problem at the young level is that (so many teams) emphasize winning so much that they leave the fundamentals of the game out.”

“When Sean said, ‘This is for the players,’ I went, ‘Yeah, this is the right idea,'” Thomas concluded. “Players first is the attitude. Teach them up right and match the competition as best you can.”

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