TRAVERSE CITY-- The Michigan Independence Hockey League’s Kalkaska Battlers have announced Cody Mulready as the head coach of their inaugural season. Mulready is no stranger to the league, as he was one of the few that helped found it back in 2020. He’s also held coaching positions with the league champion Muskegon Voyagers, and coached under the 2022-23 Head Coach of the Year, Myles Grix with the Gaylord Snow.
Now, Mulready feels he’s ready to lead a program of his own.
“It was just one of those opportunities where you don’t get offered head coaching jobs very often. And with the experience that I had, and the people that I’ve learned from the mentors that I’ve had and the things and the knowledge that I picked up, I felt that I was ready to take on that challenge,” he said.
The team’s owner, Andrew Dibble, couldn’t be happier with his choice for the helm of his program. Before taking the reigns as owner of the Battlers, Dibble was a co-owner of the Gaylord Snow, and saw firsthand Mulready’s coaching abilities.
“He fits perfect. Cody is incredibly passionate about everything that he does. Him and I have I don’t know how many conversations throughout the week about everything, the excitement, just everything. He fits that mold of the excitement that’s in Kalkaska. Cody has the perfect attitude to continue to drive excitement into the town and to keep the excitement going throughout the season,” Dibble said.
Though there aren’t many Battlers that have signed contracts yet, the ones that have couldn’t agree with Dibble more. Defenseman Sean Doyle played under Mulready in Gaylord last season, and made the jump to the Battlers to take on a leadership role within the team.
“I love Cody as a coach, he spends a lot of time in the film, a lot of time researching just different ways as opportunities to play against different opponents. He’s always got something up his sleeve, but also just the energy on the ice and behind the bench. He genuinely cares about his guys,” Doyle said.
Taking on the head coaching position meant taking on the challenge of filling a 28-man roster from scratch. The Battlers have hosted two open exposure camps thus far, and have tryouts coming up. The dates and times have not yet been solidified, but will be posted on their website soon.
“We want a team mentality. We want guys that enjoy coming to the rink,” the head coach said. “We want players that are going to put in everything they have not only for themselves because they’re having fun, but also for the player sitting next to him, and their coaching staff, and their organization, because in the end, who doesn’t want to win a championship?”