Opole HK has added Pat Schwartz as an Assistant/Goaltending Coach for the 2021-2022 season.
“One of the things we were missing in Opole last season was a goaltending coach we could rely on. There simply aren’t many of them in Poland, and adding Pat as an Assistant Coach who will work with the goaltenders regularly will definitely benefit the team.” Said Opole HK Owner and General Manager Joseph Kolodziej “Goaltenders simply need that extra attention, and we want to make sure they have all the support possible to be successful.”
A Northern Minnesota native, Pat began skating at age three, and became a goaltender at age five. He played youth hockey in the US and then, left home early in his youth to play Midget AAA and Junior Hockey in Canada. He completed his professional playing career in Europe after suffering a career ending injury.
Pat later became one of four Head Coach’s of the International Goaltenders School and it was there that Pat refined his coaching and scouting skills.
“Pat and I have already been out scouting and recruiting in Minnesota and we have a solid working relationship.” Said Opole HK Head Coach Brad Zangs “Our goaltending in Opole was very young last season, and this year we want to give them all of the tools possible to be the best they can be. Pat’s experience in Europe will be a big help for these players who are still adjusting to a larger ice surface.”
Today, Pat is still involved in the training and development of goaltenders from the youth through the professional ranks as he provides private lessons and consulting services nationwide.
“I am excited about the opportunity to return to Europe and be involved with such a cutting edge program.” Said Pat Schwarz “The environment in Opole, with all of the amenities, technology, and scouting from around the world, provides the right mix for players to make steps to the next level. Several players from last season are moving on to NCAA and Professional hockey directly from Opole HK. That is what success is all about. Moving them on.”
It is during his travels to visit his clients that he gets an opportunity to see quite an abundance of talent and this is what makes Pat a valuable asset as a coach and a scout. Pat has been coaching and scouting for the past 27 years and has provided his services as a coach/scout/consultant to many organizations worldwide. Pat resides in Northern Minnesota during the offseason and calls Denver, Colorado home during the season when not on the road.