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From player to coach, former Ooks forward adjusting to the transition behind the bench

By Admin User on April 20, 2022

After spending four seasons as a player and captain on the men’s hockey team at NAIT, a NAIT grad decided to test the waters behind the bench. 

Ooks head coach Scott Fellnermayr was a member of the men’s hockey team from 2012 to 2016, winning three provincial titles in that span. Fellnermayr’s plans to be on the team were something that was not his first thought.

“I was actually planning to go to Kelowna and play at Okanagan College but the team folded in the summer,” said Fellnermayr.

“I was a really late addition to the team back in 2012 and Serje Lajoie was the coach at the time. He took a chance on me and gave me at least a year and I was thrilled with the opportunity and played here for four years.”

 After his playing career concluded with the Ooks, Fellnermayr spent a season in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) where he played for the Huntsville Havoc. When it comes to the love of the game Fellnermayr says it’s something that’s been instilled in him for as long as he could remember.

“My dad was into hockey. He didn’t really play at a high level, but always understands it very well. We used to talk more about my game now it’s about players and how the team is performing as a whole. He’s still giving me useful information,” said Fellnermayr.

After playing with the Havoc for a season, the former Ooks captain joined the team as a video coach back in 2017. An opportunity that didn’t open up right away for Fellnermayr.

“ In the first month and a half of the season, I wasn’t part of the team or anything. And then [Tim Fragle] gave me the call. He and I joined the group and was right back into working with the team. So it meant everything to me. I got to see how things worked from the other side.”

Fellnermayr spent two seasons as a video coach before being an assistant coach and ultimately to where he is now as head coach for the men’s team. However, just like the opportunity as a video coach, getting to the position back in August of 2020 as interim coach was no different but more unique if anything.

“We thought maybe it would be a late start or no fans or whatever the case would be. We still believed we’d be able to play at some point. So there were challenges with COVID-19 and communicating that,” said Fellnermayr.

“Because it was an interim position I had to re-apply again. And then getting the job back again and then getting into this season. It was a late start and we weren’t sure if we were going to play. The new variant in the second half of this season gave us concern and a lot of times missed.”

Through all of the challenges, Fellnermayr and the Ooks prevailed and won the Alberta Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship against the Concordia Thunder in his first season as the head coach. It was the Ooks first provincial title since 2016, back when Fellnermayr was captain of the team. 

Despite being the first in ACAC history to win a provincial title as both player and coach, Fellnermayr doesn’t see much of a difference in the feeling of winning the title.

“It’s pretty similar. I was just really happy for the guys that were moving on. That was kind of my motivation throughout the year. Guys like Shane Fraser, Tyler Robertson, Jaynen Rissling are having their last year of college hockey. I just wanted it so bad for them and wanted to always do everything I could to help us win,” said Fellnermayr.

The Ooks men’s hockey team will look to defend their title next season in the fall as they will have a full 36-game season starting with exhibition games in September of 2022.



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