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Seattle Thunderbirds promote assistant Matt O’Dette to head coach

Matt O’Dette is the new Seattle Thunderbirds head coach, the team announcing Wednesday that he has been promoted after four seasons with Seattle as an assistant coach.

O’Dette becomes the 17th head coach in team history, taking over for Steve Konowalchuk, who joined the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks as an assistant last month following a six-year tenure with the T-Birds.

“We were lucky to have a very good coach already on our staff and are excited to promote Matt to our head coach,” Thunderbirds general manager Russ Farwell said in a press release. “He was a huge contributor to our team the last few years and has proven he is ready to take over the head coaching duties.”

The T-Birds are coming off winning the WHL championship in 2016-17.

O’Dette primarily focused on coaching defense as an assistant for Seattle, which has been home to two of the last three WHL Defenseman of the Year winners.

Before coming to the T-Birds, O’Dette was the head coach of the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors for two seasons, an assisant coach for the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder, and played 14 professional seasons in the AHL and ECHL.

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