The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce that Jeff Mason and Jordan Smotherman will join Rob Stewart as the team’s Assistant Coaches for the 20th anniversary season.
Rob Stewart and Jeff Mason will be behind the bench with Adam Keefe as Jordan Smotherman takes on the Player/Assistant Coach role with the organisation.
Rob Stewart’s long standing service to the Giants stretches back to the opening season in 2000 with his number #16 jersey retired in The SSE Arena, Belfast.
Stewart, who was inducted into the Ice Hockey Journalists Hall of Fame in 2013, has been part of all eleven championships in Giants history, three as a player and eight as a coach.
Stewart continues to be a loyal servant to the team he helped build back in 2000. He has also ensured the future of ice hockey is bright in Northern Ireland as the head coach of the Junior Giants Development Programme.
Jeff Mason joined the Giants in 2010 and spent 8 seasons in teal – posting 63 goals and 160 assists, good for 223 points in 400 games. Mason sits in 1st place in all-time scoring for Giants defencemen and 6th in the Giants all-time standings.
Mason helped the Giants to the Elite League title in 2011/12 with the organisation clinching the championship on home ice in a famous night at The SSE Arena. Mason’s performances also guided the Giants to another league title, this time in 2013/14 as we clinched the trophy with, a record breaking, ten games still to play.
More recently, Mason starred for the Giants in the Challenge Cup Final on Sunday 4th March 2018 – helping the Belfast side take a 6-3 victory against the Cardiff Devils as the Giants won their ninth major championship and a third for Jeff Mason.
Jordan Smotherman arrived in Belfast during the 2018/19 season from the Iserlohn Roosters of Germany’s DEL and made an immediate impact – including scoring the memorable Challenge Cup Final game winning goal in overtime against the Guildford Flames on Sunday 10th March.
Smotherman’s first season in teal was made the more impressive when, a few days prior to his arrival in Belfast – he changed his travel plans upon learning that the team had picked up an injury and arrived overnight in-time to face the Nottingham Panthers on Sunday 3rd February.
From Corvallis, Oregon and grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, Smotherman helped the Giants to two championships in 2018/19 – the Elite League title and the Challenge Cup.
Head Coach Adam Keefe on his coaching team:
“Rob has been huge for me – his experience in the game and his resume speaks for itself and he has been an invaluable help for me.”
“Jeff and Jordan will be great assets to myself off the ice as they join the coaching team. Having them both as Assistant Coaches gives me the opportunity to pick their brains and get recommendations when it comes to aspects of the game such as powerplay and penalty kill.”
“Having a solid coaching team is important for me in order that we can make the team as good as possible.”