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Petr Jonak has been hired as Flint’s second assistant coach. Jonak will join two NHL veterans behind the bench, Head Coach John Gruden and Assistant Coach Dave Karpa leading into the 2015-16 season.
“We are extremely excited to have Jonak as a member of our coaching staff,” said Christensen. “He brings a diverse background to our club. Whether it be his ability to develop individual player skills both on and off the ice or the level of knowledge that he’ll bring to our special teams game, Petr will be a huge asset.”
Jonak, a native of Plzen, Czech Republic comes from a very prominent hockey family that has been around the game for over 100 years. Following in the footsteps of his father, also named Petr, who has coached many current and former players in the NHL, Jonak has developed numerous high-level hockey programs in the Czech Republic and is recognized as a top developmental coach annually.
“I am really looking forward to helping this team and building the organization from the ground up,” said Jonak. “Flint and Genesee County are known as big hockey communities with a lot of history and I couldn’t be more thankful to have this opportunity to be a part of something special.”
Jonak is the co-founder and former CEO of the Prague, Czech Republic based hockey organization “Sports Connect,” which provides training and education including the development of proper nutrition and health habits to athletes around the world.
In addition, Petr has worked with many of the top amateur players throughout Michigan and is a level 5 Master Certified Coach. Jonak also holds a coaching license in Physical Education and Sport from the prestigious Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.
Jonak is fluent in the Czech, English and Russian languages giving him the ability to communicate with a diversified selection of players, further making him a powerful compliment to the Firebirds coaching staff. Petr’s strong connection with the hockey community outside North America provides the Firebirds Hockey Club with an excellent set of eyes in the European market in preparation for the annual Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft.
Petr and his wife Kamila are the parents of Adam, Matyas and Ondrej and plan to move to Genesee County this summer.