By Randy Schultz – NY Hockey Online
Jay Varady (Cahokia, Ill.) has been named head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team that will participate in the 2016 World Junior A Challenge from Dec. 11-17, in Bonnyville, Alberta, it was announced by USA Hockey.
In addition, JB Bittner (Pittsburgh, Penn.) and Chris Hartsburg (Edina, Minn.) have been tabbed as assistant coaches.
Serving as head coach at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, Varady helped guide the U.S. Junior Select Team to its sixth title in seven years at the event. He was also the video coach for the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Junior Team and assistant coach of the 2010 U.S. Under-18 Select Team that took second place in the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
Varady is in his fourth season as head coach of the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers. He has led Sioux City to a pair of Clark Cup Playoffs appearances in his first three seasons, including a record-setting 2014-15 campaign in which the Musketeers tied its franchise record with 38 wins.
Before joining Sioux City, Varady was the head coach of the Les Ducs D’Angers of France’s Ligue Magnus for two seasons (2011-2013). He also served as an assistant coach, associate coach and interim head coach for the Everett Silvertips in an eight-year span from 2003-2011. Varady began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Union College, during the 2000-2001 season.
Bittner is currently in his first season as the associate head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. He previously served as an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin (2015-16), USHL’s Tri-City Storm (2013-15), ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays (2011-13) and his alma mater, Ohio State University (2008-10).
Hartsburg is in his third season as head coach of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars after leading the club to 33 wins and a Clark Cup Playoffs appearance in 2015-16. Prior to joining Lincoln, Hartsburg served one year (2013-14) as an assistant coach for the Erie Otters and four years (2009-12) as an assistant for the Everett Silvertips. Hartsburg began his coaching career as an assistant with the Colorado Eagles of the Central Hockey League in 2008-09.