Will Petschenig named GM and Head Coach of Whitby Steelhawks

by Paul St. John

The Arena Lacrosse League announced today that Will Petschenig has been selected as the new general manager and head coach of the Whitby Steelhawks replacing Gavin Prout who left the Steelhawks to join the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League as their offense coach.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity to take on the position of Head Coach/GM for the Whitby Steelhawks," commented Petshcenig. "Following in the footsteps of a Hall of Famer like Gavin Prout, won’t be easy, but I’m looking forward to pushing the Steelhawks to an ALL Championship. Our staff’s goal is to develop the players and give them the best opportunity to make it to the National Lacrosse League. I’m confident that lacrosse fans will enjoy our fast-paced style of play and I can’t wait to get going.” 

Petschenig, who has ample coaching experience in the Ontario Lacrosse Association also played pro hockey including representing Canada at the Spangler Cup. He decided at a young age to retire and turn his attention to coaching where he felt his knowledge and leadership skills could be useful at all levels, most recently in the Junior ranks.

For the ALL it was an opportunity to bring in a new face to its coaching ranks, something that ALL President Paul St. John felt was important as the league moves forward into its sixth season in the East.

"We have some deserving candidates within our current ranks of assistant coaches, but in the end we selected Will as he brings that youth and exuberance to the position that is currently missing in the ALL. For a young coach he has tons of coaching experience as well as being an assistant GM in the summer. He comes highly recommended and will be a great fit for the young Steelhawks team."

Returning to the Steelhawks is Brad Reed who will continue to operate the defensive end for the Steelhawks. Joining Petschenig and Reed will be Joel Johnson, who will look after the offense. Johnson and Petschenig have worked together before as they currently coach with the Oakville Buzz where Johnson is the head coach and Petschenig his assistant.

The Steelhawks are scheduled to open their 2023 season at home December 17 vs the Ohsweken Bears, a 7pm start at Children's Arena in Oshawa.