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Longtime Bears assistant coach joins Braves bench

Jonathon Brodie – Recorder & Times

Consider Walt Dubas refreshed and re-energized.

With new ownership going in a different direction, Dubas has left the Smiths Falls Bears after seven seasons as mostly an assistant coach with the team and has joined the Braves on the bench in the same position. The Bears were officially sold, along with the Westport Rideau of the CCHL2, this past long weekend, according to new co-owner Joshua Filoso. The deal was worked out over the last few months.

Dubas’exit from the Bears is coming without any animosity and he praised everyone involved with the club from former owner Chris Cassell and general manager Mark Grady to the community as a whole.

“I’m not bitter and I’m not upset. We had a good run. I worked with Mark for seven years and Chris was our owner and they treated me very, very well. I just look at it as it’s a new chapter. Smiths Falls is my adopted home. I’ve been here for over 30 years,” said Dubas. “These guys (the Bears), I wish them nothing, but the best. They have a path they’re going to take and I think (joining the Braves) is just an opportunity for me. After seven years with one team it’s refreshing. I’m re-energized and I’m hoping to contribute to the Braves.”

Dubas said he reached out to Brockville head coach Jesse Winchester to get the ball rolling in regards to being a part of the Braves staff, which led him to speaking with co-owner Dustin Traylen this past weekend and, “it seemed like a good fit for everybody, so we’re going to give it a go.”

The details of his role within the team hasn’t been specified, said Dubas, but he praised Winchester’s terrific first year as a head coach where he was named the top bench boss in the CCHL. Dubas added he’s hoping to contribute to the Braves, as well as pick up a thing or two from Winchester, a former NHL player.

“I think the world of his abilities and I think he’s only going to be a pleasure to work with and hopefully I can help him a little bit, but I’m also hoping I can learn from him because his first year in the league was highly successful,” said Dubas. “The Braves have been one of the best organizations in the league for a long, long time and I have a lot of respect for Dustin and Jesse, so I’m very excited to be joining their team.”

Most people probably wouldn’t remember, but this will be Dubas’second stint with Brockville.

You would have to dig deep to find an old program to remember Dubas was part of the Braves organization, but he actually started his coaching career with Brockville in the 1984-85 season.

With the Braves being a longtime rival of the Bears, Dubas said, “For seven years we tried to beat Brockville and we were probably less successful than we wanted to be.”

The Braves compiled a 25-12-0-5 record against the Bears during Dubas’time in Smiths Falls. Brockville will be looking to push those numbers even more in their favour with the addition of its new assistant coach.

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