Coaching Staff

HEAD COACH: David Williams ____________________________________________________________________________________

Dave Williams enters his sixth season as Head Coach of the Stratford Warriors.

Prior to joining the Warriors, Dave was the Head Coach of the Kitchener Dutchmen for the 2013-2014 season. With the help of Assistant Coach Mike McLeod on the bench, the Dutchmen finished the season in first place and tied the league record for most consecutive wins at 25 games.

From 2010-2012, Dave served as both Head Coach and the Director of Hockey Operations for the Listowel Cyclones Hockey Organization. During the 2010-2011 season, Listowel lost in the Cherrey Cup Final to the eventual Sutherland Cup Champions; the Elmira Sugar Kings.

Dave’s coaching resume extends beyond the GOJHL. From 2006-2010, he served as the Associate Head Coach with the Wilfrid Laurier Men’s Varsity Hockey Team. Dave was fortunate to be a part of this very successful University program which saw the team make it to the National Championship before losing in the semi-finals in 2007. Dave got his start coaching in the Midwestern Junior B Hockey League, when he coached in Listowel from 2003-2006 with Assistant Coach Jason Clarke. During the 2004-2005 season, the team captured the organization’s first Cherrey Cup. In addition to coaching, Dave serves as a regional scout for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the United States Hockey League.

In 2019-2020 Dave was named the OHA Coach of the Year.

A native of Stratford himself, Dave was lucky to have grown up playing for many local coaches that served as strong mentors within the Stratford Minor Hockey Association. His own hockey career saw him play for the Listowel Cyclones, the St. Mary’s Lincolns, and concluded in the 1995-1996 season as a member of Stratford Cullitons. Dave is a teacher at Mitchell District High School.  Dave, Kerry and their 3 daughters (Dayna, Leah and Shay) reside in Nithburg.

ASSISTANT COACH:  Mike McLeod __________________________________________________________________________

Mike is a former Stratford Culliton having played 4 seasons with the team (1986-1991) and winning a Sutherland Cup in 1990. After Junior hockey, Mike went on to play University hockey — graduating Lakehead University (1995) with an Honours Degree in Kinesiology and graduating from the University of Windsor (1996) with a Bachelor of Education.

Mike has extensive coaching experience. He has been with the Stratford Warrior’s since 2015 (winning the Cherry Cup in 2016); prior to that Mike was an Assistant Coach with the Kitchener Dutchmen for the 2013-14 season – winning the regular season title and tying an OHA record with 25 consecutive wins. Mike held various positions with Stratford Minor Hockey from 2002 until 2013 (Coach/Executive Member/Director of Player & Coach Development). He also coached the Listowel Lightning High School Varsity Hockey Team from 1998-2012.

Mike is a teacher at the Listowel District Secondary School. He lives with his wife Lori and 4 children (Jay, Ty, Aly and Lexi) in Stratford.

ASSISTANT COACH:  Dave Schlitt __________________________________________________________________________

Dave Schlitt returns to the Warriors for his fifth season as an Assistant Coach.

Prior to joining the team for the 2017-2018 season, Dave had twenty seasons of minor hockey coaching experience, including thirteen seasons as a Head Coach of various AA and AAA teams in the Waterloo Minor Hockey Association (1996 – 2009) and seven seasons as a Head Coach and Assistant Coach of the Huron-Perth Lakers Minor and Major Midget AAA teams (2009 – 2016).

For the 2016-2017 season, Dave was the Director of Operations for Alliance Hockey’s Under-16 Program of Excellence.

Dave was an Assistant Coach (2010) and Head Coach (2013) with Alliance Hockey’s Under-16 teams and was an Assistant Coach of Team Ontario Under-16 Men’s Hockey Team (2015 Canada Winter Games Gold Medalists).

Dave was also with the University of Waterloo Warriors Men’s Hockey program for eight seasons (2009 -2017) as the team’s Recruiting Coordinator.

Dave is the Business Manager at Spruce Lodge Home for the Aged and resides in Stratford with his partner Lisa Phillips.

GOALIE COACH:  Mark Nelson __________________________________________________________________________________

Mark is our Assistant General Manager/Goalie Coach and has been with the Warriors for the past 20 years.  He has also served as an Assistant Coach.

Mark played Junior B for New Hamburg Hahns and Senior A for the Stratford Indians.  He has also served as an Alliance U17 evaluator.

Mark is currently the Director of Evaluation for the Erie Otters of the OHL.  He was also a Canadian University Scout for Rio Grande Valley Killer Bee’s of the Central Professional Hockey League.

Mark has recently retired after 30 years at Canada Post. Mark and his wife Patti live in Stratford and are grandparents to a lovely boy Cameron!

VIDEO COACH:  Mike Graham ___________________________________________________________________________________

Mike looks forward to his third full season with the Stratford Warriors as Video Coach.  Prior to taking this position, Mike coached at various levels within Stratford Minor Hockey (SMHA) from 2012 to 2018, and served as Director, Coaching Selection Director and Vice-President of the association during that time.

Mike grew up in Stratford and played all the way up through the SMHA system.  He resides in Breslau with wife Linda and works as Construction Manager at Culliton in Stratford.