Spokane Chiefs announce hiring of Manny Viveiros as new head coach

Robert Murray/WHL


Spokane, Wash. – The Spokane Chiefs announced on Tuesday that they have hired Manny Viveiros to be the 13th full-time head coach in the organization’s history. Viveiros was previously an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL as well as general manager and head coach and director of player personnel of the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos, including a WHL Championship in 2017. He will be officially introduced at a public press conference at Spokane Arena on Wednesday, July 10.

“I would like to thank Bobby and Cathy Brett as well as Scott Carter for this opportunity,” said Viveiros. “Spokane has always been one of the premier franchises in the WHL and the whole CHL. It’s an honour to join the Chiefs family. My wife Laurie and I are looking forward to living and being involved with the city.

“The WHL is very special to me and my family. I am thrilled to work with the Chiefs’ organization to continue to develop great young hockey players and, more importantly, help these young men mature to achieve their goals on and off the ice.”

Viveiros, 53, boasts 12 years of coaching experience in North America and overseas. Most recently, he was an assistant coach for the Oilers during the 2018-19 season.

“Manny’s coaching resume is top-end as he has been a champion as a coach and as a player,” noted General Manager Scott Carter. “What really excites me is the type of person both he and Laurie are, and the character he will display around our Chiefs every day.”

Prior to his time in Edmonton, Viveiros served as head coach and director of player personnel in Swift Current for two seasons (2016-18), leading the Eastern Conference squad to a combined 87-40-9-8 regular season record. The Broncos won 48 games for 103 points during the 2017-18 campaign before their thrilling championship run, defeating the Everett Silvertips in the finals to win the 2018 Rogers WHL Championship. He was also named the WHL’s 2017-18 Coach of the Year.

Viveiros began his career behind the bench with Klagenfurter AC of the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (EBEL) in 2007, remaining with the club as head coach (2007-12) and then sports manager (2012-14) until 2014. Under his leadership, Klagenfurter won the EBEL championship in 2009 and 2013.

He was also head coach of Team Austria at multiple international tournaments, including the Men’s World Championship (2012, 2013, 2014) and 2014 Winter Olympics. He coached two former Chiefs – forward Michael Grabner and defenceman Stefan Ulmer – with Team Austria.

“We are thrilled to have Manny join the Chiefs family,” added Chiefs’ Managing Partner, Bobby Brett. “His hockey knowledge is outstanding and it is very apparent that he will be an excellent fit with our organization. We look forward to him joining in the tradition of great coaches here in Spokane.”

As a player, the St. Albert, Alta. native was selected in the sixth round, 106th overall, in the 1984 NHL draft by the Oilers after a dominant junior career with the Prince Albert Raiders from 1982-86. The dynamic defenceman recorded 321 points (60G-261A) in 251 career regular season games, adding 42 points (6G-36A) in 35 playoff games. With his help, the Raiders won the WHL Championship and Memorial Cup in 1985. He also competed for Team Canada at the 1986 World Junior Championship, earning silver.

Viveiros’ name is stamped all over the Prince Albert record books. In his 1983-84 season, he recorded the most assists and most points by a defenceman in a singled season, totaling 93 assists and 109 points. The success continued that year as he also recorded the most career goals, assists and points by a defenceman in franchise history.

His professional playing career began with the Minnesota North Stars as he competed in 29 NHL games from 1985-87. Between 1986-1991, he added an American Hockey League (AHL) stint to his career recording 66 points (9G-57A) in 124 games. Additionally, Viveiros tallied an impressive 113 points (29G-84A) in 215 International Hockey League (IHL) games during that time. He then ventured overseas for the remainder of his playing career, playing in the EBEL and German DEL from 1991-2007, competing for the Austrians at the 2005 IIHF World Championship.

Wednesday’s introductory press conference will take place at 3 p.m. (PT) at the main entrance to the Spokane Arena. Guests will include former and current Chiefs players. The public is invited to attend.

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