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Bulls Name Craig Simchuk Head Coach

Craig Simchuk has been named the second head coach of the Birmingham Bulls during the Southern Professional Hockey League era.

Simchuk, 31, captained the Bulls during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, then retired and served as an assistant coach with the organization last season.

He succeeds Jamey Hicks, who will remain with the Bulls as a team consultant while dealing with a family matter in his native Canada.

“Jamey has been a tremendous mentor both on and off the ice,” Simchuk said. “He’s taught me more about the game of hockey and life than I can ever thank him for. I hope to follow in his footsteps and continue what he has started here.”

Hicks lobbied for Simchuk to fill the head-coaching role he held for the past three seasons.

“Craig was being groomed for this job,” said Hicks, the SPHL’s 2018-19 Coach of the Year. “A lot of great coaches go from being a captain, then training as an assistant, and then taking the step to be the head guy. I think everyone knows how I feel. It hurts not being there, but seeing Craig take over is very exciting for me, and to see where he takes this team.”

A lefty-shooting forward, Simchuk played a combined five professional seasons in the SPHL. He tallied 46 goals and 75 assists in 238 career games with the Columbus Cottonmouths and Bulls.

A legendary center during the organization’s East Coast Hockey League days, Hicks helped preside over the reincarnation of the club for the 2017-18 season. He produced a 78-66-12 record in three seasons at the helm and led the Bulls to the SPHL finals in only Year 2 in the league.

The Bulls open their 2020-21 season on Saturday, Dec. 26, at 7 p.m. against the Pensacola Ice Flyers at the Pelham Civic Complex. For ticket information, call the Bulls office at (205) 620-6870.

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