2023/24 Head Coaches

The Executive Committee of the E. O. Wild, together with the HEO Technical Director has approved the following Head Coaches for the 2023-24 season. Thank you to our board executives and the independent interviewers that spent numerous hours helping us achieve this.

U12 - Francis Wathier

The E. O. Wild is pleased to announce Francis Wathier, former NHL, AHL, and ECHL player as our U12 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 U12 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.

U13 - Jake McDermott

The E. O. Wild is pleased to announce Jake McDermott as our U13 Head Coach. Winner of the Travis Crickard Award for HEO Coach Of the Year, coach Jake and his staff led their team to the U12 AAA Championships last season.  Jake is excited to be returning to the Wild for a second season. Having been a Head Coach each of the past five seasons, Jake has significant experience and knowledge in working with and coaching the 2011 age group. Jake’s coaching philosophy focuses on learning and development with a competitive and disciplined mindset. Coach Jake brings a calm, measured, respectful and fair approach to his teams and is looking forward to leading the U13 E. O Wild in the upcoming 2023-2024 season.

U14 - Chris Robillard

The E. O. Wild is pleased to announce Chris Robillard as the U14 Head coach. Coach Robillard led his group last year to the finals of U13 AAA.  He has been involved in minor hockey for the past 17 years, 15 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 Zach Gillam

The E. O. Wild is pleased to announce Zach Gillam has been selected as our U15 Head Coach.  Coach Zach has been coaching Tier 1 hockey in the Eastern Ontario region for over a decade. The son of two teachers, he has developed his own teaching skills in order to pass his knowledge of our game onto the younger generations he coaches.  In addition to coaching, Zach spends a lot of his time working on skill development. He is a Hockey Canada Certified Skills Coach and is the owner of SPS Hockey Development. Through that, he’s had the privilege of working with some incredible athletes, ranging from professionals to U10. One of the highlights of Coach Zach’s coaching career was winning the U15 Championship and attending the Provincial Championships with the 2002 Ottawa 67’s AAA team. Coach Zach is thrilled to be joining the Wild organization and you can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @ZachGillam94 and @zach.gillam respectively.

U16 - Dave Byrne

The E. O. Wild is pleased to announce Dave Byrne as the Head Coach of our new U16 division. Coach Byrne, is in his sixth season with the Eastern Ontario Wild and will be returning as Head Coach of this pinnacle program/division. Coach Dave values his role as a teacher and always puts a premium on player development, both on and off the ice. His attention to detail, high standards, and creative ways to communicate with players allow him to get the most out of an athlete while at the same time driving team success.

U18 - Steve Malette & Steve Norton

Steve Norton with over 17 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 JrAAA 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 of 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.

Steve Malette With 19 years of coaching experience within the National Capital Region coach Malette has spent the past 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 E. O. 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.

Philip Jago.  There are no words that can describe what Phil Jago means to a hockey team. If your athlete ever had the privilege of having Phil you know. If he or she hasn’t they will be spoiled for life. No one works harder to prepare a group of athletes ensuring they are ready for practice or game time. His resume dates back to 1994 and most notable for us, it is our pleasure to welcome him back to the Wild family. He was involved with our 1999 birth year Wild Major Bantam (U15) and Minor Midget (U16) teams. Phil has spent the last several years at the U18 level with the Gloucester Rangers and Rockland Nationals.