Thoroldite David Urquhart Scores New McGill Hockey Coach Job

David Urquhart has been appointed full-time head coach of the McGill University men’s hockey team.

A 2018 inductee to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame, Urquhart has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach of the San Diego Gulls, an American Hockey League affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. During that span, he helped guide the team to a 92-60-17 record in regular season play and three playoff berths.

The 36-year-old native of Thorold, Ont., becomes the 30th bench boss in team history and the 13th former McGill player to take the helm of the historic 144-year-old program, which played its first game on Jan. 31, 1877.

He replaces Liam Heelis, who was serving as interim bench boss.

“We conducted a national search and we’re very pleased to welcome Dave back for his third stint with the program,” said Geoffrey Phillips, executive director of McGill Athletics and Recreation. “His experience and leadership in winning championships at both the university and the professional levels, will no doubt further enhance our tradition of excellence, both on the ice and in the classroom. I would like to sincerely thank Liam for leading the program through a very challenging period.”

Previously, Urquhart played for McGill and served four years as a full-time assistant coach under the direction of Kelly Nobes. He also was head coach of the Serbian national team at the 2018 IIHF Div. 2 world hockey championship.

“I’m proud to be part of a McGill hockey tradition that has been integral in the development of student-athletes for such a long time,” said Urquhart, who graduated from McGill’s Desautels school of management in 2008, majoring in finance and entrepreneurship. In 2019, he completed a master’s degree in sports psychology at McGill. For his thesis, he interviewed six of the most successful coaches in U Sports and the NCAA to discuss their coaching vision and learn how they built cultures of excellence to win multiple national championships for their respective programs.

David Urquhart, McGill Hockey Coach

“The pandemic has provided the program an opportunity to reset and begin a new era with a new name and vision,” added Urquhart. “This vision will build upon the culture of excellence and traditions that were cultivated by the coaches that came before me. I look forward to rejoining the team and connecting with the recruits, student-athletes and alumni.”


Family, friends, and former teammates have congratulated David on this well-deserved promotion including accolades from his proud mother Liana.

I’m so proud, excited, and overjoyed to congratulate David on his new position as Head Coach for the McGill Mens Hockey team! He has Followed his hockey dreams and passions Since he was a young child. It has been so wonderful to see how he has excelled at the national and international level and has now made his way back home again.

Liana Urquhat, a proud mother, pictured above with son David

Please join us in congratulating David on this accomplishment as we wish him all the best in his future endeavours and continue making Thorold proud.

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