For the first time in the 11-year history of the Kansas City Mavericks, the popular end-of-season awards show – the Mac Awards – was not held in 2020.
The save, fight, goal of the year and other special moments are usually recognized at a banquet in which the organization also names the Maverick of the Year.
And this season, the winner of that honor is Kohl Schultz, who was placed in one of the most difficult positions in all of sports – going from head coach John-Scott Dickson’s assistant to his interim replacement during a 2019-20 campaign that never seemed to catch fire.
“It was an honor to play for JSD because I played with him when he was a player, and for him when he became the head coach,” recently retired Mavericks captain Rocco Carzo said. “I have the same respect for Kohl. He was put in a tough situation and he had already earned all the guys’ respect when he was an assistant coach and that respect followed him through as the interim coach.”
Schultz still lives in the area and is hoping he is still in the plans of the Mavericks, as they continue the search for a new head coach.
“If they want me, I’m here,” Schultz said. “I know the search for a new head coach has been slowed down by the coronavirus and this quarantine, but once it is over and Brent (Thiessen, team president and general manager) continues to search for a new head coach, I hope I can stay with the team on the bench or in some other capacity.
“This team means so much to me, and I hope to be a part of it for a long, long time.”
When asked about his honor, Schultz said he was surprised.
“There are so many people in this organization – from Nick (Potter, the team trainer) to the folks upstairs – who spend countless hours working to help make my job easier.
“When I found out I had won, I was surprised and honored. To win the Maverick of the Year Award is something I will always remember.”
While he cannot return to the coach’s office at Cable Dahmer Arena, Schultz is still examining what went wrong last season and hoping to find a way to help the new head coach hit the ice running with a vast amount of studies after watching hours of practice and game video.
“I’ve watched so many videos of our guys, our team, and now I’m watching video of the most successful teams in the NHL – to see what we can do to emulate that success,” Schultz said.
“I’m working hard and trying to stay busy because I feel better when I am in a daily routine. I can’t go to the office, but that’s not going to stop me from watching video and doing my offseason homework to make the 2020-21 season one we can all be proud of.”