Amarillo, TX: The Amarillo Bulls in conjunction with CSH International, the ownership group, announce changes within the Amarillo Bulls organization.
The Bulls are pleased to announce Matt Nicholson as the new Head Coach.
Matt obtained a 4-year scholarship to prestigious Colgate University where he obtained his degree. Following his hockey career, he spent 2 years as an assistant coach at Division 3 Adrian College, A start-up program in the 2007-08 season, Adrian went on to win MCHA regular season and playoff championships during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, posting a combined record of 53-4-1.
For the past 6 years Matt has been an assistant coach at Robert Morris University, and for the past 2 years he has been the Associate Head Coach. Robert Morris is no stranger to Amarillo as 4 former Bulls have played under coach Nicholson. Robert Morris has built their program into one of the top teams in their conference and has been excellent recruiters of talent led by Matt.
“Matt brings what is a priority for us, he played Division 1 college hockey. He has worked his way up the coaching ladder, and having spent 6 years coaching at Division 1 and the past few years as Associate Head Coach. Plus, he is an exceptional recruiter and knows the NAHL very well. He will be able to sell kids on the program and help the players move on to college hockey. That is the core objective of the Bulls program,” stated Gary Gelinas, president CSH.
Feedback from former Bulls captain John Rey was key in the decision making process. “Matty is a smart, young, charismatic guy who's passionate not just about hockey but the organization and the young men he is coaching. The fans will gravitate towards him immediately as the new head coach much like they did Dennis Williams as they share a lot of similar qualities. The knowledge and experience as a former D1 coach and player that he is going to bring back in to Amarillo is second to none. He did a great job recruiting not only myself but also Greg Gibson, Brady Ferguson, and Timmy Moore from our Bulls family. He already has the feel of Amarillo routed into him. I expect he is going to get the Bulls organization right back into the powerhouse it was both on and off the ice just a couple years ago.”
Matt will be at the Bulls main camp in St. Louis and has already begun recruiting for this year. “First off, I would like to say that I am excited for the opportunity to be the Head Coach of the Amarillo Bulls organization and be a part of the CSH hockey family. Coming from a college program that has four Amarillo alumni on the roster, I am well aware of the quality of the people in Amarillo and the organization as a whole. Our objective is to put a great product on the ice and also up hold the highest standards off the ice and within the community. I am looking forward to working alongside Gary Gelinas, Rick Matchett and Mike Watt. The work begins next week in St. Louis!” said Matt.
“This is an exciting time for the Amarillo Bulls, to be able to have Jon continue to work with the CSH teams and to bring in an experienced Division I Coach that can help us recruit great talent that can go on and play at the next level. We’re looking forward to Matt putting the Amarillo Bulls back on top,” stated Rick Matchett, General Manager.
As part of the re-organization, Jon Rogger will take on a scouting and player procurement role for CSH and will work with the Bloomington Thunder in video, scouting and player development. CSH looks forward to having Jon’s knowledge and coaching background to support our teams, especially Bloomington with his knowledge of the USHL.
A press conference to introduce Matt to the media, fans, and community will be held in the next few weeks.
MATT NICHOLSON BIO
Matt Nicholson is entering his sixth year as a member of the Robert Morris men’s hockey coaching staff. After four seasons as an assistant coach, this will be Nicholson’s second as an associate head coach. Since joining the Colonials, Nicholson has worked with both the RMU defense and forwards while also handling skill development, recruiting and video responsibilities.
“Matt does a great job with recruiting and excels in skill development with our student-athletes," RMU head coach Derek Schooley said. "He is a very passionate coach who is always trying to get better. He is student of the game.” Nicholson joined the Robert Morris coaching staff after coaching two years at Division III Adrian College. A start-up program in the 2007-08 season, Adrian went on to win MCHA regular season and playoff championships during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, posting a combined record of 53-4-1.While attending Colgate University, the London, Ontario native played 123 games and recorded two career goals and 10 assists. After graduation, he participated in the Phoenix Coyotes' NHL rookie camp and went on to sign with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League (CHL) for the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, Nicholson joined the Youngstown Steelhounds of the CHL for his final professional season before his career was cut short due to injury. While coaching at Adrian, Nicholson started his own charitable endeavor, the Matt Nicholson Foundation. The organization is dedicated to serving programs that promote athletics as a positive outlet for local youth. Nicholson earned his bachelor’s degree in education at Colgate in 2004 and added a master’s degree in instructional leadership and decision making from Robert Morris in 2011. He has a Level 4 USA hockey certification and has spoken at numerous USA Hockey events.