The Barrie Colts announced Tuesday that veteran head coach Dale Hawerchuk will be taking a leave of absence for the 2019-20 season.
Hawerchuk, who is the winningest coach in Colts history, was going into his 10th season behind the bench.
“We are a tight and close family here and it’s difficult to have to make announcements like this,” said Colts president Howie Campbell in a statement. “Dale is facing some health issues and will be taking the time he needs to deal with that situation. Our best wishes and thoughts are with Dale and his family during this difficult time. We have a great team heading into this season, thanks to Dale, Jason Ford, Rob Stewart, Marty Williamson, and our whole hockey staff of coaches and scouts. With seasoned veterans like Todd Miller and Bill Smith on the bench with Dale for many seasons, we’re confident we’ll have everything the team needs to have a great run this year. All of us want to see Dale back as soon as possible and we look forward to that day.”
Hawerchuk owns a 305-269-22-16 record behind the Colts bench dating back to the 2010-11 season, guiding the club to four Central Division titles along with an Eastern Conference crown in 2013.