Clouston becomes winningest coach in Tigers’ history
With their 20th win of the 2017-18 Western Hockey League season Saturday, Medicine Hat Tigers head coach Shaun Clouston has earned his 324th career victory, becoming the winningest coach in franchise history, surpassing former coach and mentor Willie Desjardins’ mark of 323.
“I am incredibly fortunate and very thankful for the 7 years I got to work with Willie as a member of his coaching staff,” Clouston said. “He is an amazing leader, teacher and role model and all that I learned from him is invaluable. Thanks Willie.”
Clouston a native of Viking, AB began his coaching career in Medicine Hat as an assistant under Willie Desjardins in the 2003-04 season. The Tigers would claim their fourth WHL championship as they dispatched the Everett Silvertips in four straight games to earn the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
In 2005-06 Clouston moved up to associate coach as the Tigers would finish the season with a 47-16-1-8 record. The Orange & Black would win their second Ed Chynoweth Cup in 4 seasons as they defeated the Vancouver Giants on home ice in a memorable double overtime thriller.
Clouston coached the Tabbies through the Christmas break in the 2008-09 as current head coach Willie Desjardins was tapped to be an assistant coach for the National Junior team and again as Head Coach in the 2009-10 season. Clouston would then take over the Head Coaching duties full time for the 2010-11 season. The Tigers would finish his inaugural season with a 46-18-4-4 record making it to the Conference Finals for the seventh time since the team joined the WHL in 1970.
Since taking over as Head Coach the Tigers have made at least the second round of the playoffs every season except one. In 2015-16 The Tigers would make a late season push forcing game 73 tiebreaker versus the Edmonton Oil Kings, but would fall just short.
Sometimes through adversity a team finds it’s strengths. After having not qualified for the playoffs the previous season, the Medicine Hat Tigers under Head Coach Shaun Clouston would go on to have the fourth-most successful regular season in the franchise’s storied history. The team finished the campaign with a regular season record of 51-20-1-0, good for 103 points, claiming the Central Division Pennant along the way and a second place finish in the Western League standings.
While currently sitting first in the Central Division with a record of 20-15-2-0, Clouston’s all-time record with the Tigers is now 324-201-34.
“This is truly a team accomplishment,” Clouston added. “I want to sincerely thank the entire organization, staff, scouts, players and coaches past and present and specifically the Masers and Willie Desjardins and Rick Carriere for inviting me to become a Tiger all those years ago.”
There will be little time to celebrate the milestone as Clouston looks for win 325 as the Orange & Black travel to Cranbook, B.C. to take on the Kootenay ICE in a New Year’s Day tilt. Game Time is 4:00pm.