- Hockey Ops
The 2023-24 season marks General Manager & Head Coach Tad O’Had’s fourth season with the Mavericks.
The 2022-23 Mavericks had their best season under O’Had as the team made its first postseason appearance in four years. The club finished in third place in the Mountain Division with a record of 34-30-6-2. The Mavericks have increased their win total in each season under O’Had.
On March 25, 2023, O’Had was behind the bench for his 700th game as a professional coach.
The 2022-23 season marked Kansas City’s first as an affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds. O’Had’s relationship with the Kraken and Firebirds organizations were instrumental in securing the affiliation agreement. In the first season, the Mavericks saw it pay off immediately, with seven players earning AHL call-ups in the initial season.
There were numerous individual accomplishments to occur under O’Had’s tutelage during the 2022-23 season. Goaltender Shane Starrett played in a Mavericks-record 54 games between the pipes and finished second in the ECHL with a 2.68 GAA. Jeremy McKenna finished the season with the fifth-highest single-season points-per-game total in franchise history. Additionally, Joshua Lammon tied for the ECHL lead in shorthanded goals and Loren Ulett moved into fourth place in franchise history with 251 games played.
McKenna and Pascal Laberge were each recipients of ECHL Player of the Week honors and Starrett was one of two players to win the ECHL Goaltender of the Week award on three separate occasions during the 2022-23 season.
During the 2021-22 campaign and with the help of O’Had’s defensive acumen, Mavericks defenseman Marcus Crawford ranked second among all defensemen in the ECHL in assists (41) and fifth in points (52) on the season. It was Crawford’s second-straight year finishing in the top-five among defensemen in the ECHL in points.
A native of Yakima, Was., O’Had came to Kansas City after spending seven seasons with the Florida Everblades as an assistant coach and his final four seasons as the Associate Head Coach. In the position, O’Had played a large role in the team’s defense, recruiting, penalty kill and strength & conditioning efforts. O’Had was behind the bench for nearly 500 regular season games and 67 postseason games during his tenure, being a part of a staff in Florida with a .699 winning percentage. He made the playoffs in six of his seven seasons, winning a Brabham Cup Championship in 2017-18 and five South Division Championships.
O’Had served as head coach and general manager of the Florida Jr. Blades for three seasons. Under O’Had’s direction, the Jr. Blades consistently dominated, making two appearances at USA Hockey Nationals and capturing a pair of regular season titles. He guided the team to a 112-19-8 record in his tenure. O’Had’s Jr. Blades team captured the 2017 USPHL National Championship. O’Had involved himself in hockey growing up and playing in the Tri-Cities area of Washington where he found himself drawn to the defensive side of the sport. He went on to play hockey for Millbrook Prep School in Upstate New York for three years. After graduating from Millbrook, O’Had went on to play junior hockey in the North American Hockey League and Ontario Provincial Hockey League with the Capital Centre Pride and the Port Huron Clippers, respectively.
While pursuing higher education, O’Had attended Connecticut College in New London, Conn., where he was a three-time team captain. He became one of the founders of BlueStreak Sports Training, one of most prestigious sports training facilities in the country. O’Had went on to be the co-founder for Hybrid Hockey, a recruitment and exposure service that prepares players who are looking to expose themselves at the collegiate level. In 2009, O’Had was granted the opportunity to work in Russia with the Olympic development program where he co-founded several training programs.
O’Had served as the Vice President of Hockey for Athletic Republic Headquarters for six years. O’Had was awarded the Dick Vraa Award for his contribution to the Athletic Republic Network. In 2017, O’Had was named to the Gulfshore Business Magazine Top 40 Under 40 list, reserved for the most influential business leaders under the age of 40 in Southwest Florida.
Riley Weselowski begins his third year with the Mavericks and first as Associate Coach, a position he was promoted to in July 2023. A native of Pilot Mound, Manitoba, Weselowski entered the coaching world after a successful 13-year playing career, the majority of which was spent with the Rapid City Rush as well as other stops in the ECHL and CHL, where he played in more than 700 regular season and 81 postseason games.
With Weselowski as a part of the staff, the Mavericks earned their first postseason victory in four years following the 2022-23 season. Kansas City went 34-30-6-2 and finished in third place in the Mountain Division.
On October 29, 2022, Weselowski and the Mavericks were on hand in Rapid City, S.D., as the Rapid City Rush retired Weselowski’s No. 6 jersey. Weselowski played in 517 games for Rapid City across nine seasons.
Weselowski was the winner of the Presidents Cup as Central Hockey League Champions with Rapid City in 2010. Additionally, he was named the 2012 Central Hockey League Defenseman of the Year as well as Man of the Year for his community involvement. He finished his playing career at the top of many Rapid City Rush leaderboards, including games played, scoring by a defenseman and penalty minutes. A natural leader, Weselowski wore a letter as a team captain in each of his final 11 professional seasons.
Weselowski spent his final six seasons on the ice in a player/assistant coach role. In 2020-21, his final playing season, he spent the majority of the season behind the bench, working with the Wichita Thunder defenseman and preparing pre-scouts and video breakdowns.
He served on the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) executive board during his final seven seasons, working on behalf of PHPA and in conjunction with the ECHL to negotiate the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, also playing a major role in helping guide the players and the league through the COVID shutdown of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
A graduate of Bemidji State University, Weselowski started the Black Hills Hockey Academy in 2011, growing it into premier on- and off-ice summer hockey training in multiple cities across Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Weselowski and his wife Kelly have a son, Collin and currently reside in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Rob Couturier begins his first season and the goaltending and video coach for the Mavericks. He comes to Kansas City after a successful career in the collegiate ranks with the two most recent seasons as the goalie coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. During his time at UNO, Couturier helped their goaltenders tally a 2.52 GAA and a .912 save percentage during the 2022-23 season to go along with three shutouts.
Prior to his two seasons at Nebraska-Omaha, Couturier coached two years as the men’s and women’s goalie coach at Colby College. Additionally, Couturier owns ProForm Goalie Development, an academy training goaltenders since 2015.
Ricky Chitwood is in his 12th season as the Mavericks video coordinator. In his role, Chitwood is in charge of capturing game video for Mavericks coaches.
An Anchorage, Alaska, native, Chitwood grew up playing hockey. Outside of the Mavericks, he holds various video positions in and around the Kansas City area.
Chitwood is a graduate of Louisiana Tech and was a former airline captain and flight instructor.
Dr. KC Doan
A Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance specializing in sports surgery, complex and revision knee and shoulder surgery, and joint preservation.