The CD Dodd Perth Thunder wishes to announce that Head Coach Dave Ruck has stepped down from the position for the 2020 AIHL season and beyond.
The Thunder would like to thank Dave for his time and passion at the club as both coach and player, and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.
Dave has penned a letter to the Thunder explaining his decision, with full text below:
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To all Thunder Fans, Volunteers, Players, Management and Board,
It is with a heavy heart I am letting you know I won’t be continuing as the Head Coach of the Perth Thunder for the 2020 season. I have appreciated the support of the fans and volunteers, relished the challenges of coaching in the AIHL and valued the camaraderie with the players and coaching staff as we’ve battled the league over the last 3 years.
When I look back on the last three years I feel blessed for this opportunity. It has seen me named the AIHL coach of the year in 2017 as well as the coach of the South All Star team in 2019. The thing I’m most thankful for is watching the team grow. We not only made it to the finals in each of the last three years, but we’ve improved our finals performance each year. This was evident with the team taking that extra step last season making the Grand Final for the first time. I’d like to thank the players for their willingness to seek and embrace growth in the culture as well as their belief in themselves. All of these factors have placed the Thunder in an excellent position for 2020, when I fully believe that the team is poised to win their first Goodall Cup.
Missing an opportunity to coach these players in a Goodall Cup win is definitely going to be the hardest part of not coaching this season. I’ve been coaching for 36 months straight, going from the summer season of the National Junior Program to the winter AIHL season. Unfortunately, to do these roles well it does not leave much time for a break, while my day job in a Perth high school requires a lot of mental and emotional energy. Frankly, I’m a bit weary and I’m looking forward to taking some time to refresh and recharge.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Stan Scott and the Thunder Board for the opportunity and support. I appreciate their offer to join the board or take up an administration role, but I’m looking to take a break so I will not be taking up an official position with Thunder at this time. Preparing, planning and up-skilling for the National Junior Program will certainly keep me busy, while I’ll unofficially be heading up the Alumni Association and taking up a prominent place in our private box, otherwise known as the “Crossbar.”