Amarillo Wranglers announce Taylor Harnett as new hockey coach

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The Amarillo Wranglers announced Taylor Harnett as the new hockey coach on Monday. [Provided photo]

By Guy Chiarenza 

The Amarillo Wranglers are proud to announce that Taylor Harnett has been named the team’s head coach ahead of the 2024-25 season.

“I’m very thankful to Austin & Brandi (Sutter) and the Wranglers ownership group to be considered for this position,” Harnett said. “You always want to make sure that it’s the right fit for yourself and the organization, because in the game of hockey we talk about teamwork being so important and an integral part of having success with the players.

It’s no different with an ownership group, management, and a coaching staff. And just in the conversations I’ve had with everyone involved it’s been really welcoming and seems like a great partnership, and that’s something I’m really excited to be a part of.”

Taylor Harnett, a native of Edmonton, AB, brings almost 30 years of coaching experience in hockey to the Texas Panhandle. Prior to joining the Wranglers, he served as the head coach and general manager of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), a position he had held since 2017.

Harnett led the Wolverines to a record of 159-147-25 during his tenure, posting a winning record in five of his seven seasons with Waywayseecappo, helping transform the team into an annual contender in the MJHL. Since 2018 he led the team to a record of 153-123-23, qualifying for the postseason three times in five full seasons (2019-20 playoffs were canceled and the 2020-21 season was canceled), and in 2021-22 was a nominee for MJHL Coach of the Year.

The process of hiring a new coach is no easy feat. Harry Mahood and the Wranglers went through an extensive process to make sure they found the right person for the job.

“We are thrilled to welcome Taylor Harnett as the new Head Coach of the Wranglers,” said team owner and president, Austin Sutter. “The rigorous hiring process, led by Harry Mahood, ensured we found the perfect fit for our elite expectations. We are grateful to all the outstanding candidates who applied and wish them the best in their careers. Taylor’s experience, leadership, and dedication make him the ideal choice to lead our team to new heights. We can’t wait to see the positive impact he’ll have on our program and community.”

Harnett takes over a Wranglers team that has improved upon its record from the previous year in all three seasons of the franchise’s existence. In 2023-24, the Wranglers posted a record of 32-20-6-2, finishing in 5th place in the South Division – falling to the New Mexico Ice Wolves in 2 games in the Robertson Cup Play-In.

The Wranglers third coach in franchise history will make his debut on September 13 when Amarillo travels to Blazers Ice Centre to take on the Oklahoma Warriors in the season opener and will make his debut at the Budweiser Bull Pen on October 11, when the Wranglers host the Colorado Grit in their home opener.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people, getting involved in the community, and getting to know the team,” Harnett said. “I’m really excited and very fortunate for the opportunity and can’t wait to get going.”

Harnett and the Wranglers will now turn their attention to main camp starting on August 1 in preparation for the upcoming 2024-25 season.

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