2024/25 Eastern Ontario Wild Head Coaches

The Executive Committee of the E. O. Wild, together with the HEO Technical Director has approved the following Head Coaches for the 2024-25 season. Thank you to our board executives and the independent interviewers that spent numerous hours helping us achieve this.

U12 – Announcement Coming Soon


U13 - Francis Wathier

The Eastern Ontario Wild is pleased to announce the return of Francis Wathier, a former NHL, AHL, and ECHL player as our U13 Head Coach. During his 10-year pro career, coach Wathier honed his coaching skills. A former QMJHL Gatineau Olympiques assistant coach, and owner/operator of Francis Wathier Hockey Academy, coach Wathier will lead our U13 team bringing together players from our 4 associations. Married and father of three amazing kids, he is passionate about outdoor living, and he is looking forward to developing future elite hockey players in Ottawa.


U14 - Chris Robillard

The Eastern Ontario Wild is pleased to announce Chris Robillard as the U14 Head coach. He has been involved in minor hockey for the past 18 years, 16 of which are at the AAA level. His coaching philosophy is about respect, communication, and compete-level. These young athletes will be challenged to compete with themselves, with and for their teammates, and against opponents at the highest level. Coach Robillard has had the privilege of learning from some incredible athletes, and he continues to look forward to learning from these young players and helping them prepare as they set their sights on possible future careers.


U15 - Ben Gillis

We are proud to introduce Ben Gillis as the new head coach of the U15 Eastern Ontario Wild. Ben brings over a decade of coaching experience, working 3 years as an assistant coach with the Navan Grads Jr. A team, as well as extensive experience in hockey analytics and video analysis. Throughout his coaching career, Ben has worked with high-performance programs, achieving notable success, including capturing a championship title with the 2007 Ottawa Myers AAA team during the 2018-19 season, and during his tenure, contributing to the success of Navan's program. Ben is known for his strong commitment to player development, having played a pivotal role in advancing numerous players to higher levels in their hockey careers. His passion for the game and expertise have left a lasting impact on the teams and players he has worked with, reflecting his unwavering dedication to the sport and the growth of young athletes.


U16 – Steve Malette

Steve Malette With 20 years of coaching experience within the National Capital Region coach Malette spent 8 seasons as head coach of the very successful Ottawa Jr. Sens (OJS) U18 AAA program. He led his teams to two 1st place regular season titles and finalist in the recent 2023 Road to the Regional Telus Cup Playoff Championships. During HEO’s inaugural U18 AAA season (2015/16), Steve was a recipient of the Coach of the Year Award. 

Coach Malette is no stranger to the Eastern Ontario Wild organization. He spent 2 seasons as head coach of the Wild’s U18AAA teams during the 2013/14 & 2014/15 seasons and, 2 seasons as head coach of the Wild’s Minor Bantam (2010/11) & Bantam (2011/12) teams, capturing back-2-back League Championships and semi-finalist at the 2012 All-Ontario Bantam Championships.

Coach Steve’s coaching philosophy is to provide players with a program that instills the required commitment, structure, and development to succeed at the next level.  Coach Malette’s program under the OJS banner promoted 50% of the players to ultimately reach the Jr. A level (CCHL, OHL, NCAA), and is looking to continue this success with the Wild’s U18 AAA program.


U18 – Steve Norton

Steve Norton returns to our U18 Wild program. With over 18 years of minor hockey coaching experience, and 5 years at the Tier 1 level, coach Steve was most recently the assistant coach of the Gatineau Flames in the Jr AAA league. Having many highlights and much success over his years of coaching, his most notable was his 2021/2022 season.  He coached his U15 AAA Myers team to a league playoff championship and a silver medal at the Provincial Championships.  Coach Norton coaches for his players and for the passion he has for the sport.  His focus is on helping all his players obtain their hockey goals and dreams. He takes pride in helping athletes further develop their skills, passion, determination, dedication, discipline, leadership skills, and work ethic. He fosters and promotes respect for others in both competitions and in life.

2023/24 Eastern Ontario Wild Head Coaches

U12 - Francis Wathier

U13 - Jake McDermott

U14 - Chris Robillard

U15 - Zach Gillam

U16 - Dave Byrne

U18 - Steve Norton