Fitzgerald moves on from Clan

Glasgow Clan have parted company with Zack Fitzgerald after one season (PHOTO: Al Goold)

Glasgow Clan have announced that head coach Zack Fitzgerald will not be returning for a second campaign.

The 34-year-old took over from Pete Russell last summer after the Scot took on the job at DEL2 side EHC Freiburg, with Fitzgerald stepping up from his role as the captain to move behind the bench.

But the club have opted to look elsewhere for their next coach and stated the parting of the ways was done on amicable terms.

“Glasgow Clan can confirm that we have parted company with Director of Hockey & Head Coach, Zack Fitzgerald,” a statement on the website said.

“Since joining in 2014, Zack has been a cherished member of the Clan, by the club and the Purple Army.

“The Clan would like to thank Zack for all of his hard work during his time with the club and he leaves the club on very good terms.

Fitzgerald re-joined Clan in 2018, signing for then coach Pete Russell, who he later replaced (PHOTO: Al Goold)

“With our utmost respect, we thank him for all his hard work and commitment over the three seasons he spent with the club and we wish Zack, his wife Crystal and daughter Finley all the very best in their future.

“The club will now focus on ensuring that we appoint a new Head Coach that will allow us to start building a competitive and exciting team for the new season.”

Fitzgerald had the best possible start to life as a coach, equalling a club record eight straight wins, but injuries played a big part of a season that descended into disappointment as they found themselves in a play-off scrap with Dundee Stars, Manchester Storm and Fife Flyers.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown of the Elite League season meant Clan were unable to complete their fixtures and see whether they would have done enough to get themselves in the top eight.

Possible contenders to replace Fitzgerald could be Doug Christiansen and Paul Thompson, who both could be set to return to the Elite League benches.

Christiansen, a league title winner with Belfast Giants back in 2012 and has been coaching in the ECHL with Indy Fuel, while Paul Thompson, another former Elite League winner, currently available after coaching in Germany with Schwenninger Wild Wings in the DEL last season.

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