Medford resident Scott McLean is named head coach of the Rogue Valley Wranglers junior hockey team during a press conferance at The RRRink on Tuesday.

Wranglers turn to McLean

The Rogue Valley Wranglers hockey team announced Tuesday the signing of Scott McLean as head coach for the 2008-09 season.

McLean, 48, spent last season as the Wranglers' skating coach and brings 38 years of hockey experience both as a player and coach.

"I definitely think it's a great move for the team," said Wranglers wing DJ Giguere, who led the team in points this past season with 45. "We had some struggles last year with coaching. Having him as a head coach is definitely going to promise a better year. I thought (McLean) always had head coach potential."

McLean takes over a team that, in its inaugural season, finished with the Northern Pacific Hockey League's worst record at 3-45.

General Manager Kevin Schwartz took over the head coaching duties after relieving former coach Brad Ouldhouse just eight games into the season.

Schwartz first approached McLean about the head coaching position at the beginning of the season but the two were unable to swing a deal given McLean's other time commitments.

Schwartz alerted McLean midway through the season that the offer still stood for the following year and McLean eventually accepted.

"I thought about it for quite some time and tried to decide if I could juggle it between my personal life and my day job," said McLean, who supervises the local office for the United States Marshals Service. "After a lot of thought into it, I decided I could do it and it was a challenge I could be up for."

And a challenge it will be.

It took the Wranglers 26 games to pick up their first victory of the season.

McLean wasn't willing to offer a prediction of what to expect next season but does have one goal in mind. "To win more games than we lose," he said. "That's a hard prediction. That would be our goal — above .500. As a coach, I'll work very hard at that."

McLean's first task will be hitting the recruitment trail this summer. He plans to make six recruiting visits to showcases across the country.

"That will help substantially," McLean said. "That will be one of the factors that will bring this franchise up."

McLean also hopes to bring a bit more stability for a team that lacked it at times last season.

"I think just a maturity is what I bring to the table," McLean said. "I'm demanding. I'll definitely have a set of rules I'll expect the players to follow, and if they don't follow those rules, there will definitely be consequences."

McLean is a Minnesota native and moved to the Rogue Valley in 1998. He played two seasons at Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minn.

He has coached youth teams from Oregon and North Dakota and served as the hockey director for the Rogue Valley Stars Youth Hockey Program from 1999-2001, prior to joining the Wranglers.

"Scott did a great job as our power skating coach last season, and we're excited to have him on board as head coach," Schwartz said.

Rogue Valley, a Junior A team composed of 16 to 20 year olds, begins the season in September.

"Now everybody in the organization has a clear understanding of the league and the other teams and ... where we need to go to succeed and be able to compete regularly," McLean said. "I'm looking forward to beginning."

Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail

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