Desert Cup 2024

Our 2024 Coaching Staff

Welcome to the pinnacle of hockey excitement at The Desert Cup 2024 Hockey Showcase in the dazzling city of Las Vegas, NV!

As anticipation builds for this thrilling tournament, we take immense pride in presenting not only electrifying on-ice action but also our outstanding coaching staff. Comprising a cadre of accomplished professionals and visionary mentors, our coaching team brings a wealth of expertise to elevate player skills and strategic finesse.

At The Desert Cup, we are unwaveringly committed to cultivating talent and creating a dynamic learning environment, ensuring that each player reaches their full potential under the guidance of our top-tier coaching staff. Get ready for a showcase of unparalleled hockey prowess and an experience that transcends the game – a journey of growth and excellence directed by our exceptional coaching team.

Micheal Oke

The Desert Cup is thrilled to welcome Michael Oke of the Peterborough Petes to our coaching lineup!

Mike officially became General Manager of the Petes on February 14th, 2013 after serving as the Interim General Manager for four months. He originally joined the Petes as the Manager of Player Personnel in April 2010 and was promoted to Director of Player Personnel in July 2010. Prior to his role with the Petes, Mike worked with International Scouting Services (ISS) as Chief Scout and subsequently General Manager/Chief Scout in September of 2008. Among his many duties, Mike was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of ISS, as well as the scouting staff responsible for producing reports on players eligible for the NHL Draft and WHL, QMJHL, OHL and CHL Import Drafts. Mike was Assistant Coach in charge of video with Team Pacific at the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He worked as the Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Coach with the Oshawa Generals from 2004-2006. He also spent four years as Assistant Coach at Wilfrid Laurier University of the Ontario University Athletic Association, where he played a role in their trip to the 2001 CIS National Hockey Championships. In addition, Mike worked for four years as Full-Time Head Coach/Manager with the Trenton Sting of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League, winning the 1998 OPJHL Eastern Conference Championship. He is a graduate of the Sports Administration program at Durham College.

Oke, who is very familiar with the Desert Cup, having coached in the tournament on five previous occasions, had this to say about being back in Vegas for the 2024 Desert Cup – ” I’m excited about returning to the Desert Cup. It is great event that provides players from around the world with the opportunity to play with and compete against top players from their respective age groups and at the same time work with coaches who have been involved at the highest levels of the game. Participants will develop friendships that will last a lifetime and see the sights and sounds of what has become one of the great hockey markets in the NHL

Greg Gatto

We are proud to announce the newest addition to our coaching lineup! Greg Gatto, a Canadian native grew up playing AAA hockey in Lethbridge, AB before being signed to the Olds Grizzlys of the AJHL when he was 17 years old. After two seasons with the Olds Grizzlys, Greg signed in the Western Hockey League (WHL) where he played two seasons with four different teams. He then attended the University of Lethbridge where he played five seasons winning a Canadian University National Championship. After graduation from college, Greg went on to play 8 years of professional hockey in Europe and the CHL before hanging up the skates. Greg then began his coaching career where he has coached at the professional level, collegiate level, and most recently the NAHL level. Today, Greg owns High Performance Hockey, a player agency/advisory that provides players and their families with guidance and representation so that players have the best opportunity to succeed on and off the ice. Greg now resides in Odessa, TX with his wife Molly and two boys Taylor and Griffin

Garry Kimmen

The Desert Cup is pleased to announce Garry Kimmen of the @drumdragons in the @officialajhl is joining our coaching lineup!

Garry Kimmen began playing hockey at a young age between Annaheim and Muenster, SK and continued into early adulthood, culminating in a Senior C league victory and provincial title. In the summer months, Garry also played baseball, and in 1988 was invited to join the Western Canadian team to compete at Canadians in Halifax, Nova

Garry started coaching hockey fifteen years ago, coming up the ranks from grass roots hockey to U of L Pronghorns Men’s (AC), Hockey Alberta programs, and just about everything else in between Garry is currently area scout with the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL and U18AA AC, he has also obtained numerus coaching certificates; the latest of which was High Performance Level 1. Garry currently resides in Lethbridge with his wife and three children.

Welcome to the Desert Garry!!!! 

RC Lyke

Team #DCVegas is thrilled to welcome RC Lyke to our lineup of coaches!

R.C. Lyke, a Poughkeepsie, NY native, excelled in AAA hockey for the Ramapo Saints before making a mark as a standout defenseman at Suffern High School. His impressive youth and high school career led to selections on All County and All District teams, contributing to two Final Four appearances.

Transitioning to junior hockey, R.C. showcased his skills with the New Jersey Devils Junior B team, earning All-Star status in the MJHL. He continued to climb the ranks, winning a NAHL championship with the Springfield Jr. Blues and captaining the Bismarck Bobcats in the AFHL.

In his final junior year with the Syracuse Crunch in the OPJHL, R.C. earned All-Star status, leading in points and penalty minutes. This success earned him a full athletic scholarship to play NCAA D1 hockey at Mercyhurst University, where he contributed to MAAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearances.

Following a successful NCAA career, R.C. played seven years of professional hockey, concluding as a player-coach for the Richmond Renegades in the SPHL. Transitioning to coaching, he became the head coach and GM of the Richmond Generals Junior A programs, accumulating a remarkable record of 702 wins in 1,068 games over 12 years.

R.C.’s coaching prowess extends beyond the statistics, as he has been recognized multiple times as coach and program of the year. He takes pride in developing players both on and off the ice, with over 600 players advancing to various hockey programs, including the NHL.

Currently, R.C. serves as the Director of the Ice Mavericks Tier 1 AAA program and the Associate Head Coach of the U16 & U18 teams. Additionally, he scouts for teams such as the Aberdeen Wings, Old Grizzlys, and Twin City Thunder.

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