Josh Dixon’s playing days ended when he was only 15.

Checked from behind with a head shot after the whistle, he took the advice of two neurologists connected to the team and hung up his skates, but that unprovoked bell-ringer did not end his desire to make a career out of hockey.

“That was it for me playing, unfortunately, so I started coaching right away and I’ve been coaching ever since,” said Dixon. “It all worked out and I’m still in the game.”

The Prince George Cougars are certainly glad of that. They’ve hired the Oakville, Ont., native as their new associate coach.   

The 38-year-old Dixon comes to the Cougars with impeccable coaching and educational credentials. Prior to joining the WHL as an assistant coach with the Regina Pats in 2011 he spent eight seasons in the university ranks with Carleton, Calgary and Mount Royal coaching men’s and women’s programs. He also served as a head coach at the Okanagan Hockey Academy. In 2014, after three seasons with the Pats, he was hired as an assistant with the Swift Current Broncos under current Cougar head coach and general manager Mark Lamb, and that season coached Team Saskatchewan at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George. He was twice named an assistant coach for Canada’s teams at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

In 2015, after two years as director of player development for Creative Artists Agency, Dixon began a three-season stint as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and in 2019 coached the QMJHL all-stars in the Canada-Russia Super Series.   

Dixon replaces Jason Smith, who left the Cougars in August after two seasons in Prince George to take on as assistant coaching position with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League, the Philadelphia Flyers’ top farm team.

In addition to coaching tactics, Dixon also understands the mental side of the game, having earned a masters degree in sports psychology at the University of Calgary. Having worked in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, he also holds a National Coaching Institute masters degree in high-performance coaching.  

Dixon’s understanding of sports psychology and what works to get the most out of teenaged athletes performing the game at the highest level possible will …….


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