Santa Margarita Catholic High School announces the hiring of Ladislav Kohn as the head coach of the hockey program. Kohn, a former NHL player, has been an assistant hockey coach at SMCHS for the past two years. He has been involved in California youth hockey for the past seven years also coaching tier hockey for the Jr. Ducks. The Czech native said he focuses on player development, technical skill and speed to help grow hockey in California.
"I am humbled and honored to be named as the new head coach for the SM Eagles,” Kohn said. “I'm looking forward to coaching this talented group of players and being a mentor to them on and off the ice. With the help of the SM staff and coaches, we can continue our great success as champions.”
Kohn played for eight NHL teams in his 20 seasons as a professional hockey player including the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames. During his career, he was coached by some of the great leaders in hockey, including Scotty Bowman and Mike Babcock. He played for the 2002 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Champions and 2011 HC Ocelari Trinec Extraliga Champions.
As a coach, he helped lead SMCHS to win the National Championship in 2019. His international experience includes playing for the Czech Republic in many major international competitions, including IIHF European U18 Championship, the 1995 World Junior Championships, and the World Championships in 2008. He is the highest-scoring Czech-born player in AHL history, and he was the top scorer in several international leagues, including Finland, KHL and Czech.
“Coach Kohn has the experience, leadership and vision to continue to grow the SMCHS Ice Hockey program,” said Vice President Sammer Darwazeh. “He is dedicated to building on the foundation of success cemented over the past decade and will strive to ensure all student-athletes are pushed to meet their potential on and off the ice.”
Established in 2009, Eagles Ice Hockey complements SMCHS’ college-preparatory academics by developing players' skills and confidence for success in sports and life. The Eagles' varsity Division 1 and Division 3 teams compete in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League and California Amateur Hockey Association and North American Elite Invitational tournaments and showcases. The program has won three USA Hockey national championships, four California state championships and three ADHSHL Division 1 championship. SMCHS Eagle ice hockey is California’s first and only USA Hockey national varsity champion. The SMCHS Eagles call the new $110 million Great Park Ice and FivePoint Area in Irvine, Calif. their home. Ice hockey activities, practices, exclusive locker room access, and the strength and conditioning program are held at the premier facility.
Craig Johnson, former Eagles ice hockey head coach, will remain a member of the ice hockey coaching staff as the program consultant for the 2020-2021 season.
"I am thrilled to hear that Laddy will be the next head coach of the ice hockey program,” Johnson said. “Laddy is a great person and coach who will continue to grow the program and be a great leader for all current and future players."