EDMONTON, Alta. - NAIT men's Hockey associate head coach Shawn Belle has accepted a head coaching position with the Okanagan Hockey Academy. After three years behind the bench with the Ooks, he will take over as the head coach of the OHA Edmonton Elite 15 Team.
"NAIT Athletics would like to thank Shawn for all that he has done for our men's hockey program and the department. We are incredibly excited for Shawn to get the head coaching opportunity he has worked so hard for and deserves. We wish him all the best as he makes the transition to the OHA Edmonton Elite 15 program," said NAIT Athletics Manager Jordan Richey.
In three seasons with the Ooks, Shawn has helped coach them to a 63-16-5-2 regular season record, while appearing in the ACAC Championship series in three straight years.
"I want to thank NAIT for the opportunity, I wish the staff and all of the guys (players) the best moving forward," said Belle.
Prior to coaching, Belle played ten years of professional hockey in the NHL, AHL, DEL, and SHL. A first-round selection, 30th overall, by the St. Louis Blues at the 2003 NHL Draft. A product of Edmonton, Alberta, Shawn would go on to play for the Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, and Colorado Avalanche.
Belle played parts of five seasons in the Western Hockey League, mainly with the Tri-City Americans, where he served as an assistant captain for three seasons. He represented Canada on four occasions, winning a gold medal at the 2005 World Juniors and the 2003 World Under-18 Championship, along with a silver medal at the 2004 World Juniors.
Shawn joins former longtime head coach Serge Lajoie at OHA who just accepted the head coaching position for the Midget Prep team.