EXETER — Brothers Doug and Dale Timmermans who have been running the Exeter Hawks Jr. C hockey club for the last four years, are stepping down.
Dale, the team’s head coach, and his older brother Doug, the team’s general manager, are both leaving the Hawks behind, with Dale citing a desire for them to start focusing on their own families. Both have teenagers heavily involved in sports.
“It’s that time our life. We’ve got to step back,” said Dale.
Doug became general manager for the Hawks in June 2012, with Dale assuming the position of head coach about a month later.
Under the direction of the Timmermans brothers, the Exeter Hawks became SOJHL league champions by defeating the Dorchester Dolphins in the finals in 2015.
Although the Hawks didn’t make it quite as far this year, they were still league finalists in the 2015-2016 playoffs, this time losing to Dorchester.
“Winning last year was nice,” said Dale, reflecting on his time as head coach. “(Doug and I) worked our asses off to get (the Hawks) where it was for the last two years.”
The Exeter Hawks have grown to a force to be reckoned with in the OHA during the time of Doug and Dale’s involvement, but Dale is also quick to share the credit with other hard-working members of the coaching staff, including George Pratt and Jeremy Geoffrey.
The Timmermans brothers came to the Hawks after also having held the roles of coach and general manager for the North Middlesex Stars, whom they led to an SOJ championship in 2009.
Dale has gained a lot of coaching experience which he’s gathered over the last 20 years. He’s coached Sr. ‘A’ hockey in Goderich and Hensall and coached the Parkhill Midget team for three years, during which he led the team to an International Silver Stick championship. He’s also coached the Strathroy Rockets to the conference finals, and several former Rockets players, including Chase Thornton, Max Naus and Tyler Kettler joined him with the Hawks.
Dale is also a former Hawks player himself. He first started playing for Exeter in 1983, and again in 1985-86.
He also played with the former Exeter Mohawks for seven years.
There’s been some talk about Dale continuing to help out the Hawks as a coaching advisor, but it’s not for certain, according to Dale.
“I’d be interested just coming out once a month, whenever I have time,” he said.
The rest of the Exeter Hawks staff are now on the look out for a new head coach and general manager. Hawks alumni Geoffrey says they’ve already received some bites, and although some applicants are interested in taking both jobs, they will try to keep them as separate positions.
“Dale and Doug, they had a ton of experience,” said Geoffrey, who added the two leave “big shoes to fill.”
Anyone interested in the positions of head coach and general manager should contact Geoffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.