Gerad Adams has delighted Sheffield Steelers players by agreeing a two year deal with the club.
His fresh contract as permanent coach with the Play Off champions was predicted by The Star a few hours after his side had rescued the season by beating Belfast Giants in the final, on April 6.
And he would have been awarded the same job even if Steelers had failed to overcome the league champions at Nottingham’s NIC.
“Winning the championship was a bonus” said club owner Tony Smith.
“I had made my mid up to offer Gerad the full time position whatever the outcome of the final four weekend.
“In a short time I had seen him make such a difference to our club. He had brought pride and passion back to the Steelers.”
Adams joined the club at the end of February following the axing of Doug Christiansen.
His immediate task was to bring some fun back to a team that appears to have been over-coached.
He accomplished that quickly and the inconsistency that had blighted Steelers all season evaporated.
Adams’ new side, in a quirk of the sport, lost two games to Hull Stingrays - but won the other 11 under his command.
Smith said: “The deal itself didn’t take long for either of us. I think Gerad has enjoyed being a Steeler again.
“We have certainly enjoyed having him here. When he walked out of my office after agreeing the deal I had a sense of relief that the hockey side of our business was in safe hands and that I and the rest of our back-room team could focus on the other important off-ice work such as marketing, sponsorship and generally making our club a better one.”
Adams had hinted there were some “factors” he had to take care of before making his decision. One of which was an appropriate educational package for his youngster.
That has clearly been resolved. And that will likely encourage some of the Play Off winning team to seek a return, as they genuinely enjoyed playing for him.
Adams returned Steelers from Cardiff Devils, having played 116 games for the South Yorkshire club under of Mike Blaisdell (20030-2005.)
Adams said: “I enjoyed being back in Sheffield and working with a great organisation. I’m excited about what we can achieve together and have already started work on the team for next season.
“The players gave me everything in the short spell at the end of the year. They deserve the credit for a championship win. We have the core of a great side here and something we can build on moving forward. I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach here again. Its only been a week since the final but I can’t wait for the new season to start.”