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Generals shake up coaching staff
by D. K. Williams
ESP Magazine – February 27, 2002
The Greensboro Generals have kicked head coach Graeme Townshend out from behind the bench and into the front office for the remainder of the season.
Assistant coach and former NHL defenseman, Alex Godynyuk (go DIN yuk) takes over as the interim head coach.
Generals' co-owner and president, Rocco Scarfone, stressed that the organization was not giving up on this season.
"I made a commitment when I became an owner of this team," Scarfone said, "to have a winning record. We've got 20 games left, 12 against division rivals, and I think that we can still catch the Reading Royals and the Richmond Renegades and produce a winning team."
"We look to finish with the best record in the three-year history of the franchise. There is no giving up here. We will not give up. I promised the fans that we will have quality on the ice. We will have quality."
Townshend was head coach for less than a year.
The team was at the bottom of the 29 team East Coast Hockey League.
Godynyuk, a 32-year-old native of Kiev, Ukraine, recently obtained his U.S. citizenship. "I told the players that we are going to try to erase the past. Erase everything from their minds and shift our concentration on the next 20 games and try to have a winning record," Godynyuk said. "We are not going to give up. Nobody will quit."
Sal Manganaro, the all-time leading scorer for the Generals, retired and was named the assistant coach. "I've wanted to become a coach over the last couple of years," Manganaro said, "and I'm really excited about the opportunity to do it here. Everybody here has one goal and that is to produce a winning, quality, competitive hockey team to go far in the playoffs and start to draw fans the way we used to draw back in the old days when they had six or seven thousand fans for the Monarchs and the older Generals."
Manganaro, 29, had planned on retiring at the end of this season, but stepped up the schedule when offered the assistant's position.
Despite the team's record and rumors about the team's future, Scarfone reiterated that the team will be playing in Greensboro next year. He hopes these moves demonstrate that the organization has not stopped trying to win and is committed to bringing a winning team to Greensboro.