The Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) have announced the hiring of Taylor Shaw as the new Head Coach for the 2022-23 Season. Shaw becomes the eighth head coach in franchise history.
Shaw, a native of Sartell, MN most recently served as the Interim Head Coach for the Brown Bears after starting the 2021-2022 season as an assistant coach. Prior to his arrival with Kenai River, Shaw served in various positions with the NA3HL Gillette Wild during 2018-2020.
“I am beyond humbled to be selected as the next leader of the Kenai River Brown Bears. I want to thank Nate Kiel for entrusting me with this opportunity. I also want to thank the community for making me feel a part of such a special place . Finally, I want to thank my wife Brittany and family for all of their support during this journey. We are really looking forward to this new chapter and opportunity to lead the Brown Bears,” stated Shaw.
Joining Shaw on staff are Assistant Coaches Dean Weasler and Jake Leitner. Weasler, a former St. Cloud State University goaltender, joined Shaw on staff last season as an assistant coach. Weasler brings eighteen years of coaching experience following a decorated playing career. Leitner, a former NAHL grad, spent four seasons in the league between the Bismarck Bobcats and Aberdeen Wings. Following a career ending injury, Leitner turned his focus to coaching where he has spent the last few seasons leading his teams to 3rd place finishes at the USA Hockey National Championships.
Rounding out the staff will be Dan Daikawa, who will continue to serve in his role as Director of Player Development. Daikawa is no stranger to the league, having served as Head Coach of the Jamestown Ironmen and Brookings Blizzard as well as one season as an Assistant Coach for the MN Wilderness. An alum of Miami University (OH), Daikawa currently works for MAP Hockey in MN.