The following is a feature called 20 Questions that appears weekly in the Daily Herald-Tribune.
My name is Matt Keillor and I am the Head Coach and General Manager of the Grande Prairie Storm and I also serve as Technical Director for the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association. I was born and raised in Calgary and currently reside in Grande Prairie with my fiancé Emily and our three children, Coden, 7, Payton, 3, and Addison, 11 months. I am heavily involved with Team Alberta’s Male U16 program and most recently served as Assistant Coach with Team Alberta at the Western Canadian Championship held in Calgary where we ended up winning Gold in a thrilling overtime against team B.C. This past summer I was lucky enough to be invited to represent Alberta as a Camp coach at Team Canada’s U17 Selection Camp. These experiences have really helped my growth as a coach and I look forward to continue building strong roots here in Grande Prairie.
1. It’s Tuesday night, what are you having for dinner?
Spaghetti and Caesar salad
2. If you didn’t do what you do for a living, what would you be?
High Performance Sports Psychologist
3. What person has influenced your life the most?
My three children, they are my entire world.
4. How did you get involved in coaching hockey?
A friend of a friend asked me if I would be interested in helping out with a minor midget AAA team in Calgary. I applied for the position of assistant coach and was given an interview. Little did I know the head coach was none other than famous Winnipeg Jet Pat Elynuik. We hit it off right away and to have someone like him as a mentor my first year in coaching was pretty special. I learned more in one year with Pat than an entire lifetime playing hockey.
5. Favourite movie of all time?
The Fifth Element
6. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Not remembering where I put my phone
7. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Twisting my knee trying to demo a corner cycle with my Bantam AAA team years ago in Calgary.
8. What’s your favourite TV show?
Game of Thrones
9. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Power to heal anything
10. What’s the one thing you haven’t done that you would love to do?
As a young family and having a newborn every few years we have never had the chance to have a family vacation. I would love to take them to a place like Disneyland.
11. If we’re buying, you’re having…?
Steak and potatoes
12. Last book you couldn’t put down?
Hungry by Ryan Walter
13.Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
14. What is the best thing about the local hockey community?
The countless volunteers that never get the credit they deserve but yet keep volunteering and giving every bit of spare time they have to give our kids the opportunity to enjoy hockey.
15. What’s the best thing and most challenging thing in coaching the Grande Prairie Storm so far?
The best thing is the relationships you build in hockey, the hardest thing is the relationships you build in hockey
16. In addition to making playoffs, what are some of your goals down the stretch with the team?
My goal is to get better every single day in how we prepare, in how we practise, in how we train, in how we live. It’s not an easy concept. We have to have a growth mindset and be willing to do the right things the right way. GPAC has done an excellent job developing hockey players. I have seen it first hand and have been a part of it. I think the future is bright for GPAC and the Storm.
17.What’s your message to the community and to those who, perhaps, may have given up on the organization? What would your selling point be to them to come cheer on the team?
Hockey is so much more than a game. These young men are going to be future staples in our community. Just look at some of the past Storm players that are excelling in our community and have become great examples of what it means to be a Storm player. That’s something to cheer for! Plus some exciting hockey!!
18. Will the community see a different style of Grande Prairie Storm hockey now when we come to Revolution Place?
The game keeps evolving with the level of skill and speed, we want to use both of those characteristics night in and night out. Wouldn’t be Grande Prairie without a little grit either!
19. If you could go anywhere in the world on a holiday, where would you go and who, living or dead would you take with you?
Take my kids to Disneyland.
20. What do you do to relax?
Just sit on the coach and watch a cartoon with my kids