Coaches

HEAD COACH

Matt Valley
coach@fightingwalleye.com

Matt was born in Thunder Bay but grew up in Murillo (20 minutes west of the city). His minor hockey career started in Stanley for the Norwest Stars. He embarked on his AAA hockey journey with the Kings program in bantam and continued on to play minor midget and one year of major midget hockey for the Kings. He then moved to Wilcox, SK to attend Athol Murray College of Notre Dame and play for the Midget AAA Hounds for his final year of midget hockey.

Upon graduation, he began his junior career for the Hounds in the SJHL. He also played for the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL before coming back to his hometown to play for the K&A Wolverines of the SIJHL, a team he captained for the remainder of the season.

His final year of junior was spent playing for the Fort William North Stars of the same league. Following a successful junior career, Matt chose to take his talents to the south shores of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin to play NCAA hockey for the Northland Lumberjacks of the then MCHA (now  WIAC). There, he majored in Mathematical Sciences with an emphasis in Physics with minors in Business Management and Environmental Studies. He was also a member of the Golf Team for two seasons.

Upon graduation, Matt moved back to Thunder Bay to work as a Junior Estimator and Project Manager for a local construction company, Bruno’s Contracting for two years. Following this work experience, he received his Bachelors of Education from Lakehead University. He now also has his Masters of Education and works as an Occasional Teacher for the Lakehead District School Board, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, and Superior Greenstone District School Board.

Matt began coaching at the Junior B level for the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks in 2015. In 2018, after three seasons in ?Junior B, he made the move to the Kings organization to coach Bantam AAA. Matt coached the Minor Midget (u16) Kings in 2019/2020. He is ecstatic to make the jump to the Kam River Fighting Walleye for their inaugural season.

ASSISTANT COACH

Doug Colbon

Doug is a resident of Thunder Bay, ON and is no stranger to Junior hockey.

He played in the NOHA league in 1970 then onto Michigan Tech University in 71/72 and finished up at the University of Waterloo in 73/74 and was a part of the CIAU Champions in 1974.

During this time Doug completed courses in Mathematics, completed his bachelor of Math/Teaching at Waterloo and received his Masters of Education from Lakehead University.

Since 1975 Doug has been a Math Teacher/ Math Chair / Vice Principal in the Lakehead Public Schools district. During his tenure he began coaching high school hockey in 1976 with the Selkirk Rams where they were city champions in his first season. In 1982-1985 Doug coached the Lakeview Lions and in 1984 the Lions were city champions.

Over the years Colbon has coached at all levels of minor hockey from initiation through AAA midgets. In addition to his minor hockey coaching Doug also coached Thunder Bay Hawks in 2006 at the senior level. His love of the game and long time coaching came with the junior game.

Starting in 1981 through 2017 Doug served multiple stints behind the bench; with the Burger King Kings, Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL), Thunder Bay Bulldogs and Bearcats (SIJHL) and his recent time with cross town rivals the Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL).

In 2016 Doug was awarded the Gary Cook Memorial Award.

This distinguished honour is presented annually by the SIJHL to an individual in recognition for their efforts, commitment and contributions to their respective team and/or the league.

Please welcome Doug Colbon to the Fighting Walleye Junior Hockey Club.

ASSISTANT COACH

Rylan Henley

Rylan grew up in Longlac and moved to Thunder Bay to play bantam and minor midget hockey for the Kings at the age of 14 and 15, respectively.

He then played 5 years of Junior A Hockey that ended with the Fort William North Stars. He was a team captain for 4 of those 5 years of Junior A hockey. Following a successful junior career, he played NCAA hockey for the Concordia Cobbers of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, where he majored in Exercise Science with a Minor in Biology.

Following graduation, Rylan moved to Toronto for 4 years where he went to chiropractic school.

Rylan is now practicing in Thunder Bay and just spent this past year as an athletic trainer/d-coach with the minor midget Kings and is looking forward to making the jump to Jr. A hockey.

ASSISTANT COACH

Dylan Butler

Dylan grew up in Thunder Bay where he played all of his minor hockey finishing his minor career where he served as an assistant captain of the Major Midget Kings.

Following his final year with the Kings Dylan went to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League where he played two seasons with the Portage Terriers and one with the Dauphin Kings. In those 3 years Dylan played a major role in his teams making it to the Junior A National Championship twice.

Following a successful junior career Dylan moved home to Thunder Bay to play for the Lakehead Thunderwolves where he served as an assistant captain for two years along with winning the teams MVP, best offensive player, and the schools “Argus Award”.

Dylan left Lakehead with a Degree in Commerce majoring in finance, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

He now works as a financial consultant with IG Wealth Management and after spending the last year coaching the Bantam AA Norwest Stars, he is extremely excited to make the jump to Junior A hockey.