Kuntz comes with several years of experience in the hockey world. The 39-year old Lumsden, Sask. native has over a decade of coaching experience and was the assistant coach with the Daemyung Killer Whales in South Korea last season. Prior to that, Kuntz was the assistant coach for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants from 2015 to 2017 and head coach of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds for the 2014-15 season after serving as an assistant coach with the program for four years. He also ran the Vancouver Canucks pre-season training camp on-ice sessions in 2014 and 2016 under the guidance former Canucks coach Willie Desjardins.
Before coaching, Kuntz patrolled the blue line for the BCHL’s Burnaby (now Alberni Valley) Bulldogs in 1998-99 before moving on to a five-year career with the UBC Thunderbirds, earning a Bachelor of Education degree. Following university, Kuntz played professionally in Europe and North America.
“It’s a new direction for me in my career, but I’m excited to go somewhere I’m very familiar with,” said Kuntz. “Over the last 10 years, I’ve coached and worked with a lot of former Kings and followed the team closely. I know it’s always had a reputation of a good program, always competitive, always have good players and it’s nice to go somewhere with a history of success.”
Kuntz adds that Kings fans can expect a well-prepared team to compete hard every night.
“You have to be detailed, create great work habits and with 95 per cent of the game being played without the puck you really have to teach where to go when players don’t have the puck so they can go get it as quick as they can,” says Kuntz. “Then on transition you have to be really quick, and have a quick mind.”
The addition of Kuntz to the Kings coaching staff is a big one according to Kings president Rob Villani.
“Through the interview process we felt Tyler has a vision for the players and the program that was in line with our vision,” says Villani. “Tyler’s philosophy of developing players on and off the ice and developing them within the community is of utmost importance to him. We believe Tyler knows how vital the team is to our community and we are confident he is the right choice to lead us in the future.”
The first focus for Kuntz is to become acquainted with the current Kings staff, and then oversee Kings Spring Camp in Kamloops on May 11 to 13.