After over a decade of hard nosed coaching in Helena, Scott Cunningham is heading back to the Great White North. Cunningham has accepted a position with the Brooks Bandits as an assistant coach as well as assistant GM. The Bandits are a part of the Alberta Jr. Hockey League, which is only a couple hours away from Cunningham's home town.
"It's awesome," said Cunningham. "Both my wife and myself grew up a few hours North of Brooks so our family is still up there, and we're looking forward to going back and being closer to them."
The decision to leave the Bighorns was not an easy one for coach Cunningham to make. But this wasn't the first time teams have tried to lure away the former 'Horns coach.
"A few years ago, probably three our four seasons ago, I had a few offers to go back," said Cunningham. "Actually they were a little further North and I turned them down. At the time my kids were still young, they weren't in school so we just weren't in a good position to move and we weren't ready to move."
Flash forward a few seasons, and this move just felt right for Cunningham and his family.
"I actually spoke to Mr. Koules, the owner, probably two, maybe two and a half months ago and told him that I was probably going to put my resume together and send it out a little bit," said Cunningham. "I honestly thought I had a better chance at winning the lottery than getting anything. There's just, in those leagues up there, not a lot of turnover. I actually put my resume in at a couple different positions and didn't get them and then the Brooks one became available and they talked to me and the rest is history."
And while the Bighorns declined to comment on the situation, the search for a new head coach is on! It's a search they haven't had to do in quite some time. Hopefully this situation will be resolved quickly.