Wheeling Nailers hire longtime Boston University assistant as new coach

August 17, 2018

Mike Bavis is the Wheeling Nailers second new head coach hired this summer.

After being left at the altar by their previous choice, the Wheeling Nailers have hired a new head coach for the second time this summer.

Mike Bavis, a longtime assistant coach at Boston University under Jack Parker, will take the reins for the Penguins’ ECHL affiliate this season, the team announced Wednesday.

With the 48-year-old Bavis on board, BU graduates will occupy the head coach’s office at all three levels of the Penguins organization. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach Clark Donatelli are also former Terriers players.

Bavis was an assistant coach at BU from 1998 until 2013, when he resigned after Parker’s retirement. Since then, he has been an assistant with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons and Babson College.

“Having the right culture is really important, and as the coach, I have to know how to get the most out of our players,” Bavis said. “Our job is to try to build a team that is fast, skilled, and fearless, which will attack, make plays with the puck, and put pressure on the opponent.”

The Nailers needed a new coach for the second time this summer because Mark Dennehy, hired in May, was scooped up by the AHL’s Binghamton Devils last week.

“Mike has been a key contributor to establish a winning culture wherever he has been,” said Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin, a Boston College product. “We know he’ll do the same for the Wheeling Nailers.”

Bavis is the twin brother of Mark Bavis, a Los Angeles Kings scout who died on United Flight 175 on Sept. 11, 2001.

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