By Fred Liggett
The Missouri Mavericks named John Scott-Dickson as the team’s third head coach in franchise history on Thursday, June 23. After reviewing over 100 applicants and hosting the finalists, the team chose to stay in-house and give Scott-Dickson his first head coaching position.
The announcement was met with applause from the team’s fans who recall how hard Scott-Dickson played for the team from 2011 to 2015. Following his time wearing a Mavs jersey, he became a full-time assistant coach for the 2015-16 season. Now, Dickson will follow Scott Hillman (2009-14) and Richard Matvichuk (2014-16) as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the ECHL member Mavericks.
At just 32-years-old, the North York, Ontario native accepts his first head-coaching job, a position John has prepared for since picking up the game as a player and founding that he enjoyed the role of being a mentor. While this may have happened quicker than Scott-Dickson had originally thought, he feels that with his high hockey IQ and always thinking of ways to create offensive opportunities. he will be up to the challenge.
John becomes the first player to wear a Mavericks sweater then become a head coach with the franchise and this fact is one he will mention on day one with his players. Scott-Dickson feels that the SEC Arena is a “special place and playing here is a wonderful opportunity.” Scott Dickson added that he looks forward to the chance to “make a difference” in someone’s life and being out in the community.
Having a year to sit back and watch Coach Matvichuk this past season “is huge” as now Scott-Dickson knows what’s expected with the team’s affiliation with AHL’s Bridgeport and NHL’s New York Islanders. John thinks it will be a tremendous help as he moves forward that he has already worked with a number of the players in development and visiting with coaches at higher levels on what they expect when a player is assigned to Missouri. Scott-Dickson said he has not heard yet from any of his ex-teammates about his new role with the Mavericks but several of them did assume he would be getting the promotion.
Mavericks General Manager Brent Thiessen has now hired his third head coach for the team in his seven years with the franchise. Thiessen commented on what he looks for in a potential head coach, “obviously passionate for the game, is hungry, and there were many young up and coming guys like this.” Thiessen kept going back to Scott-Dickson during the coaching search process as “John is known to be a hard worker, doesn’t cut corners, knows how to play the game, has won a national championship in college and knows all the ins and outs of the Mavs organization.”
Thiessen feels “it’s pretty special that a team or an organization can develop people who are good quality individuals and have them stick around.”
Thiessen feels Scott-Dickson will have to make an adjustment to his new role like any new head coach but thinks he is up to the task. Thiessen adds that Scott-Dickson is ahead of the learning curve with what it means to the Mavericks fan base and playing here in this market. “[That] Scott-Dickson is already familiar with those things is huge.” Thiessen and Scott-Dickson will work together to bring the Mavericks first championship to fans and that challenge begins on Sat. Oct. 15 when the Mavs open the 2016-17 season at Allen, TX. Longtime Mavericks fans who cheered the selection of John Scott-Dickson as the team’s new head coach will get to see him in his new role on Sat. Oct. 22during the team’s home opener against the Indy Ice.