New Bears' Head Coach Tyler Huberty: 'I'm expecting our team to have a very successful season'

April 05, 2024

New Bears' Head Coach Tyler Huberty: 'I'm expecting our team to have a very successful season'

The Sydney Bears are thrilled to announce their new Head Coach, Tyler Huberty. Huberty has been the Assistant Coach at Oklahoma University for the past four years and is excited at the opportunity to coach a Goodall Cup contender.

We spoke to Huberty about his hockey journey, the transition from player to coach, his coaching philosophy, and what fans and players can expect from the Sydney Bears' Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) season.


"I played hockey from the time I was really young," Huberty reflected. "And I learned to skate when I was about six years old. I always wanted to be a goalie, so I became a goalie when I was probably like seven or eight.

"Growing up, I followed that all through juniors. I played Junior A in the States and a little bit in Canada. Ended up going to school, and got into coaching while I was playing, just doing goalie coaching and working with kids.

"As soon as I graduated from college, I started coaching my college team [Oklahoma University], and I'm still there now."

Photo Credit: Oklahoma Warriors Veteran Hockey Association Facebook Page

For Huberty, the transition from player to coach was a logical one.

"It kind of happened naturally," Huberty said. "It was always something that I had envisioned myself doing later whenever my playing career was over.

"And also there was a need at my college team just due to some coach movement and there was an opportunity for me to help coach there. It allowed me to transition from playing to coaching very easily."

Recruitment Process

Huberty had been looking to grow as a coach, and gain head coaching experience, so he reached out to several AIHL teams.

"I was pretty familiar with the league," Huberty revealed, "and I reached out to a few teams to see if they would be interested or if there was opportunity, and the Bears were one of the only teams that got back to me.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity to not only grow as a coach but just a great life experience, one that I would never forget."

After multiple interviews, the team was impressed with Huberty, and out of the shortlisted coaches Huberty stood out as the best fit for the Sydney Bears.

Huberty is under no illusions as to the difficulty of the task at hand. The goal for the club is to secure the Goodall Cup for the fourth time in its history, and first time since 2019.

"I have the impression that it's a really solid league," Huberty replied when asked about his impressions of the AIHL. "I know there's a lot of really good players that play in Australia.

"There's really solid Australian players, I know there's a lot of players that come from all over the world to play in that league. So I know how good and how competitive the league is."

The Allure of the Bears

Talking to Huberty, it is evident that he is excited, not just for the opportunity to coach at this level in the AIHL, but to join the Sydney Bears.

"They've been around forever," Huberty observed. "They're one of the founding teams in the league, they've won a few championships and I know that they went to playoffs last year and had one of the better records despite coming up short last year.

"My impression of the Bears and everything I've done with them is that they're a first-class program and they do things the right way. That's something that we can continue to build on from past success and the tradition and history that the program has.

"And its something that we can continue to build on moving forward into this year and have a very successful year and a successful team.

"Joining this culture and continuing it, that's a big reason why I chose the Bears. I wouldn't have come all the way to Australia for a team that didn't offer that type of culture and that tradition.

"We're going to continue to build on that this year, we're going to continue to uphold that culture and that standard that the fans and the community expect."

Coaching Philosophy

Each coach brings their own philosophy, and Huberty is no different. Playing under a variety of coaches helped influence how he operates behind the bench.

"At first, I definitely kind of started my own style as a goalie coach," Huberty mused. "And I also knew what worked for me as a player. Like I knew what coaches were good, and I knew what coaches I did not want to be like and why I didn't want to be like them.

"So I was able to just take different things from different coaches and implement that. And then over the past two seasons, our head coach at college [Peter Arvanitis], he's been a really good mentor for me too.

"He's helped me grow as a coach and see more from a coaching perspective than maybe I did before."

So, what does that all mean? What can Sydney Bears fans expect to see this season? The Ron Kuprowsky era featured a stout defensive structure, don't expect that to change drastically under Huberty.

"I guess you would say that I'm an intense and passionate coach," Huberty responded. "Also, I want to put my team in the best situation to win.

"I prioritise defensive minded hockey, having a good disciplined team that plays smart and is very hard working. And I believe that success comes from those factors."

With Anthony Kimlin between the pipes, and a backend comprised of veteran players such as Brian Funes, Ryan Annesley, Tyerell Clare, and Geoff O'Hara, defense is a strength of the Sydney Bears' personnel.


While Huberty is being announced today, an agreement with the Bears has been in place for a while, and he has been part of discussions on players and personnel.

"We feel that we're going to have a pretty competitive roster," Huberty stated. "We're going to have some strong imports, and we expect to be one of the most competitive teams in the league.

Huberty's goals for the season are to help both the team and himself to grow to their respective full potential. Being able to do all of that while experiencing a different country is gravy.

"[I want to] be able to bring some of my experience in the game to the Sydney Bears and hope that it makes us a successful team," Huberty mused. "Going from college to this level is going to present some challenges for me as well that will allow me to grow as a head coach probably in ways that I couldn't even imagine six months from now.

"I'm really excited to get over there and meet the fans of the Bears and to enjoy their support. I know the Bears have a very supportive fan base. It'll be good to get to know everyone and hopefully we can put a product on the ice that the fans are proud of.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity. I think that we'll have a very fun year for all of our players and all of our fans.

"I am expecting our team to have a very successful season. We'll work very hard and we'll come together as a team throughout the months and hopefully that all pays off at the end this year."

The Sydney Bears begin the season at home on Saturday, April 6, 5 pm at Macquarie Ice Rink against the Sydney Ice Dogs. It is expected to be a sellout, so get your tickets soon (click here to purchase tickets).

- Article by Gordon Goodenough

This article was released first on Hockey Hype Australia, and it is republished here with permission. The author of both articles is the same.

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