Press Box


MARQUETTE, Mich. â€Â“Walt Kyle the head hockey coach at Northern Michigan Universityhas announced that John Olver has joined the Wildcat staff as an assistantcoach.  For the past five years(2000-05), Olver was the vice president of hockey operations and head coach ofthe Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL.  His teamwon the 2004 Kelly Cup championship.  Infive years with the Steelheads he was 228-100-32 in the regular season, whichincluded an 82-46-16 mark in Idahoâ€Â™stwo ECHL seasons (2003-05).  TheSteelheads were 42-23-7 for the 2004-05 campaign. Ã‚   Ã‚ ÃƒÃ‚‚ 


â€ÂœThis is a major move for our program.  With Dave Shyiak leaving I thought that wewould have a difficult time finding someone with that kind of experience and ability,but we found it in John,â€Â Kyle said.  â€ÂœHeis one of my closest friends and I have used him as a resource forrecruiting.  He already has someexperience with the program. Ã‚  John hasexperiences with many different areas of hockey which will help the program.â€Â


His other professional coaching stops have been with theFresno Falcons (WCHL) from 1995-97 and the Tacoma Sabercats (1997-00).  In six years, prior to 2002, as a WCHL headcoach (Fresno, Tacomaand Idaho); Olver led his team to the TaylorCup finals every season, winning the Cup with Tacoma in 1998-99.  He was the WCHL Coach of the Year four times,three with Tacoma and once with Idaho.


Olver coached 13 years at the amateur level as he registereda 240-76-10 slate. His career began in 1981 with the New Westminster Royals of theBritish Columbia Junior Hockey League and then continued in the major juniorWestern Hockey League with the New Westminster Bruins and Tri-City Americans.  â€ÂœI am thrilled and honored for Walt (Kyle) toselect me for the position,â€Â Olver said. Ã¢Ã‚€Ã‚ÂœWhen Walt (Kyle) took the job it was his goal to bring Northern Michigan Universityback to prominence in college hockey.  Ã‚ John (Kyle) and Dave (Shyiak) have made greatstrides with the program.  I hope to comein and continue to take the program in that direction.â€Â


A native of British Columbia,Olver played for Kelownain the BCJHL.  He then went and played atthe University of Michigan from1978-80.  Olver was drafted in the eighthround (125th overall) by the Colorado Rockies in the 1978 NHL EntryDraft.


Olverâ€Â™s son, Darin, is currently a member of the NMU hockeyteam and will be a junior this coming season. He led the â€Â˜Cats this past season with 43 points (9-34).  His youngest son, Mark, has verballycommitted to attend NMU in 2006.