Coach Vlad Rubes stepping down as Head coach of the Sydney Bears
Thursday, October 1, 2015 - Submitted by Sydney Bears
Sydney Bears Head Coach, Vlad Rubes has decided to step down from his position due to family commitments ending his long run as player coach with the Sydney Bears.
Rubes said that with his children reaching an age where they are competing in higher levels of ice hockey and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he felt he wouldn’t have been able to dedicate the time needed to be head coach for the 2016 season and beyond.
Rubes said of his time in the AIHL: “I have enjoyed my time with the Bears. I have many good memories, not only with the Bears but also with the men’s and under-18 national team.
“I think back to my early years playing in the AIHL and some of the achievements I’ve accomplished as a player and a coach, especially winning the 2007 Goodall Cup. I’ve worked and played with a bunch of great players throughout the years and I wish the team and the guys the best of luck in the coming seasons.
I will continue coaching with Canterbury Eagles where my son plays, not being involved with the Bears is not the end of my hockey involvement.”
Rubes has been a part of the organization since the formation of the AIHL in 2000, playing 239 games for the Bears for 399 points.
He is the current franchise leader in points (399), goals (154), all time assists (245) and second in games played (239). He is the second highest point scorer in AIHL history.
Sydney Bears President and General Manager, Wayne Hellyer said of Rubes’ time with the Bears: “Vlady is a true statesman of the league, and has been a great asset to the club. He joins the legends along with Lovering, Shumak, and Wand, as once a bear, always a Bear.
“We wish him well, and will miss him being around, but hope he can enjoy some time given back for the family and not always hockey, hockey, hockey. Maybe in the future, we may see another generation from the Rubes family playing in the team.”
Rubes began his coaching career in 2000 when he first came to the Bears, a position he has held throughout his entire AIHL career.
In 2011 Rubes was appointed the team’s alternate captain. In 2013, Rubes became head coach for the team until the announcement of his retirement at the end of this season.
Under his coaching, Rubes helped lead the team to two successful AIHL championships in 2002 and 2007.
Current Bears captain and long time friend, Michael Schlamp said of Rubes: “Vlad has been a great player and coach in this league for a long time.
“It was an honour to have him as a coach when I played my first year on the Australian Men's National Team. Playing with Vlad on the same line for a number of years was also great experience. He was always in the right spot and always knew where you were going to be.
“Vlads famous line was "just give me the puck and celebrate!" He was always prepared and knew the league very well. Vlad has a special skill of being able to remember plays, goals and scores from any game years in the past. He could not only tell you the score and how it was scored but who was on the ice for both teams. I'm going to miss traveling to games and spending time with a great friend.”
Rubes retired as a player recently during the last AIHL off-season due to a back injury, bringing to a close a successful career playing internationally in the Czech Republic and North America as well as representing Australia at eight world championships.
After establishing himself as one of the top players in the AIHL, Rubes went on eight World Championship campaigns for Australia. First called on to represent Australia in 2000 where he joined the national senior team in the 2000 IIHF World Championships in ReykjavÌk, Iceland.
During his 2004 campaign at the IIHF World Championships in Jaca, Spain, Australia finished third in the standings while Rubes finished with the most points of the tournament with twelve and was named best forward. He secured a permanent spot on the team until his final appearance in 2009.
Rubes began his campaign as a national team coach in 2001 where he was appointed assistant coach of the Australian men’s national under-18 ice hockey team. From there Rubes went on to become head coach of the team in 2003, where he held the position until the end of the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships.
In 2011 Rubes was appointed head coach of the Australian men's national ice hockey team. With Rubes at the helm, Australia won the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II Group A tournament in Melbourne, Australia and was promoted to Division I Group B the following year.
Under his coaching, both the U18’s team in 2006 and the Men’s national team in 2011 were the highest ranked Australian teams internationally.
Rubes retires not only as a one of the AIHL’s best players, but as an esteemed player and coach for the Bears and with a successful international career for Australia.