The Sudbury Wolves deeply regret the passing of former Wolves' coach, JERRY TOPPAZZINI, on April 21st at the age of 81.
"Topper", as he was affectionately known, still holds the record for coaching the Wolves to their best season ever in 1975-76 when he coached the Wolves to their best regular season finish and a berth in the OHL finals. Jerry Toppazzini is still the only coach in the team's franchise history to be named OHL COACH OF THE YEAR.
"Jerry was a great coach and he loved the game of hockey" notes Wolves' President Blaine Smith. "Jerry and his family have always been big supporters of the Sudbury Wolves and he will be deeply missed."
Toppazzini was recognized prior to the start of a game last September as he helped the Wolves kick-off their 40th anniversary season in the OHL. "It was great to see Jerry receive a standing ovation from Wolves' fans. Jerry had a great reputation and he was truly admired and respected by all of us associated with the game" adds Smith.
On a personal note, Smith was coached by Toppazzini in midget hockey and learned first-hand how paasionate he was about the game.
"Jerry was a real motivator" notes Smith. "He had a great way of getting his message to his players and he knew how to get his players fired-up for the games. It wasn't a surprise to me to see Jerry become the first Wolves' coach to be named OHL Coach of the Year."
The Sudbury Wolves wish to extend their deepest sympathies to the Toppazzini Family.