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TOWNSHEND STEPS DOWN AS GENERALS HEAD COACH
HE'LL STAY WITH THE TEAM IN A MANAGEMENT CAPACITY
GODYNYUK TAKES the reins AS INTERIM HEAD COACH
Greensboro Generals Press Release
February 21, 2002
Greensboro, NC - The Greensboro Generals of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) have announced Graeme Townshend has stepped down from his head coaching duties and will be reassigned to become the team's new Vice-President of Hockey Operations starting March 4. Alex Godynyuk (gah-DIN-yook), who was the team's assistant coach, will serve as the Generals Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the season, starting immediately.
Townshend was in his first season as head coach of the Generals. He leaves the bench with Greensboro holding an 18-28-6 record, currently in last place in the northeast division.
"This was a decision that was agreed upon by both Graeme and I," says Generals co-owner and president Rocco Scarfone. "The team hasn't played up to either of our expectations, nor the fans expectations, and a change behind the bench was deemed necessary. Hopefully, this will shake things up enough to give us a strong final five weeks of the season."
"I also want to make it clear that Graeme will be staying in the Generals organization," says Scarfone. "He is a quality person with a great hockey mind, and he has the utmost of my respect. I want him to be a part of the turnaround we expect to have at the tail end of this season on into next season."
Godynyuk, 32, was hired as the Generals assistant coach on November 14. This is his first year as a coach after retiring from an eleven-year playing career this past off-season. His playing experience includes 220 games in the National Hockey League with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, and Hartford Whalers. With this promotion, Godynyuk is currently the only professional coach in North America who hails from Europe. Godynyuk is a native of Kiev, Ukraine.
"Being named as the coach is a big surprise to me," says Godynyuk. "I'm very serious about rising to the challenge of turning this team around, and I expect there will be a lot of changes that need to be made to accomplish that. We'll try to play every game for the rest of this season like it's the last game of the playoffs."
The Generals first game with Godynyuk behind the bench is on Friday at 7:30, when they host the Charlotte Checkers at the LJVM Coliseum Annex in Winston-Salem. They will also host the Columbus Cottonmouths on Saturday at 7:30 in Winston-Salem. Tickets are available for this weekend's games at both the Greensboro Coliseum and LJVM Coliseum Annex Monday through Saturday from 11:00 – 6:00 and through the first period of all game nights. You can also order tickets through the Generals new ticket provider, Tickets.com, by calling toll-free at (888) 397-3100, or go to the Tickets.com link at www.greensborogenerals.com.