Saginaw Spirit fires head coach, names interim replacement - WNEM TV 5

Saginaw Spirit fires head coach, names interim replacement

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The Saginaw Spirit announced it has fired its head coach.

Greg Gilbert was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, according to the team.

Gilbert has been with the Spirit since the 2011-2012 season.

"The Saginaw Spirit would like to thank Greg Gilbert for all his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last five seasons," said Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill.

The decision came after the team lost eight games in a row.

"There is never any easy time for something like this to happen and it is the toughest part of the hockey industry. We want to wish Greg Gilbert all the best moving forward," Drinkill said.

Gilbert's record with the Spirit is 134-134-26 in regular season and 7-18 for playoffs.

The Spirit has also announced a familiar name, Moe Mantha, will fill the head coaching position on an interim basis.

Mantha, 55, had a 12-year NHL career, and has also coached in several cities and leagues. In 2003, he coached the Saginaw Spirit on an interim basis, which led to a head coaching opportunity with the Windsor Spitfires.

Mantha returned to Michigan in 2010 to coach and Co-Own the Michigan Warriors, a Tier II junior hockey team based out of Flint.

Then in 2015, Mantha was hired as the Saginaw Spirit’s Northern Ontario Scout. 

“Moe Mantha has been our Northern Ontario scout and is coming in to coach the rest of the year,” said Drinkill.

Mantha begins his duties behind the bench on Wednesday night when the Spirit host the Sarnia Sting at The Dow Event Center. The puck drops at 7:05.

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