Omaha Hockey Assistant Coach Paul Jerrard died on Feb. 15, 2023. He was 57.
Fans might have noticed Jerrard missing from the bench during games this season. Jerrard had been battling cancer.
We had heard through the grapevine about the diagnosis in late 2022, and were hoping for a full recovery.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jerrard joined the Mavericks in the 2018-19 season, bringing an extensive coaching resume to the program.
We had the opportunity to meet Jerrard at a “Dinner With The Mavs” event during the 2018-19 season, and loved having the chance to ask him about his time playing and coaching for the legendary Frank Anzalone at Lake Superior State (we met Coach Anzalone during the 2001-02 season at a UNO Hockey Blue Line Club Luncheon).
Jerrard played collegiate hockey for four seasons for the Lakers from 1983 to 1987. He coached at the university during the 1997-98 season and from 1999 to 2002.
His professional playing career started in 1987 with the Colorado Rangers of the now-defunct International Hockey League (IHL). Over the course of the following decade, Jerrard saw action with a number of IHL and American Hockey League (AHL) teams. He also appeared in five NHL games with the Minnesota North Stars during the 1988-89 season.
Of note, Jerrard saw extensive action with the Kalamazoo Wings in the 1990s. According to this tweet — by hockey analyst and commentator Dave Starman — Jerrard played alongside North Dakota Head Coach Brad Berry and Minnesota Duluth Head Coach Scott Sandelin:
Jerrard’s coaching experience spanned more than 25 years.
He was an assistant with the Iowa Stars (AHL) in the 2005-06 season (UNO Head Coach Mike Gabinet had a stint there as a player that season).
In the two seasons prior to his arrival in Omaha, Jerrard was an assistant in the NHL with the Calgary Flames. He also had significant player development experience in the AHL.
We’d like to extend our condolences to Coach Jerrard’s family. He is survived by his wife Cheryl and daughters Catherine and Meaghan.