Coach Emeritus Ken Hitchcock

Fired from the STARS, but forever with GALT!

Although Ken Hitchcock has been replaced by the Dallas STARS Hockey Team as Head Coach, he remains a spokesperson for GALT, and is committed to helping in whatever way he can to promote greyhound adoption. Additionally, GALT's status as an official charity of the Dallas STARS Hockey Club remains unchanged.

Hitch became involved in greyhound adoption in June 1999 when he and John McQuade met at a team party at Lone Star Park celebrating the STARS winning the Stanley Cup. There they discussed hockey, thoroughbred horses and John told Coach Hitchcock about the athleticism of the greyhound and the plight of the ex-racing greyhound. Moved by their conversation, Hitch asked what he could do to help, and that is where it all began; he officially became a spokesperson for these magnificent athletes.

When GALT was in its forming stages, Coach Ken was one of the first persons consulted, and he has been totally on board in supporting GALT in its vision of owning and operating its own adoption center and kennel and our other adoption work. Although as of now, Ken's plans are not finalized as to where he will be coaching hockey next season, he is committed to being Coach Emeritus of GALT's "Team Greyhound" now and in the future.

Congratulations to Ken Hitchcock for his coaching contribution to the Canadian Hockey Team's Gold Medal win at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic games!

GALT wishes former Stanley Cup winning Coach Ken Hitchcock much success in his new position as the Philadelphia Flyer's Head Coach! Congratulations!

Hitch The Humanitarian by Russ Cohen

The Philadelphia Flyers recently hired former Stanley Cup winning coach Ken Hitchcock to be their head coach. Hitchcock was a Flyers' assistant back in 1990-1993 and is thrilled to be back in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area.

It's interesting to get a person's perspective on a city when they return to it nine years later. "It's changed and it hasn't changed," said Hitchcock. "Areas in-between South Jersey and Philadelphia that were country back then have filled in, but it's a comfortable setting. A collection of small towns."

Hitchcock has a passionate side much like the Philadelphia Flyers fans. "The fans are a huge strength."

'Hitch' has fond memories of the fans of the orange and black. "The fans lived and died with the Flyers and cared less about the league other than to see that the Devils, Rangers or Islanders weren't ahead of the Flyers."

In the high-pressure world of being a hockey coach Hitchcock does know how to relax.

"I stopped being a 24-hour a day guy. I am in a strong people business and the players must feel the freshness, I also do physical exercise and focus on mental get-away. For me balance is the key. Less is more. I am concerned with the well being of family and friends and I do charity work."

Hitchcock did a lot of charity work with GALT, a greyhound adoption group based in Texas.

"I had a good time raising money, doing three functions a year with them, and they are a great organization. I couldn't believe what they were doing to the greyhounds in Texas and Oklahoma. I tried to help widen the market. These dogs are great athletes and we try to save as many as we can. The plight of the greyhounds is staggering. We tried to change the profile. They are easy to maintain and low maintenance. That's not what people think."

A few of the Dallas Stars players (Blake Sloan, Dave Reid) had greyhounds even before Hitchcock became involved in the cause.

"Nieuwe (Joe Nieuwendyk) was also involved with the SPCA so the connection was there," said Hitchcock.

GALT's status as an official charity of the Dallas Stars hockey club remains unchanged.

Hitchcock has two Jack Russell Terriers and tried to bond them with some greyhounds but they didn't connect. Hitchcock has always had a love for animals.

"We lived two or three blocks on the edge of town so my family was the one on the block that always picked up strays. I had dogs, cats, owls, skunk, rabbits, squirrels and raccoons. Was your family always supportive in your efforts? My dad built three cages, but they were always shaking their heads at me."