Braves bring back Michael Bay as Head Coach

Michael Bay is back for a third stint as the Spokane Braves head coach. Bay is pictured with his wife Anissa. Michael Bay photo


(SPOKANE, Wash.) – The Spokane Braves will have a new, but familiar face behind their bench for the 2024-25 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.

Michael Bay is returning as he last coached the Braves in the 2019-20 season leading them to a third-place finish in the Neil Murdoch Division with a record of 20-23-4-0-2. Braves owner Bob Tobiason feels good about having Bay back, adding he’s liked the Seattle, Wash., native ever since he’s known him.

“His passion is hockey and I’m thrilled to have him back,” said Tobiason.

“It’s an opportunity to coach again,” said Bay, on why he’s returning to the bench and joined by Chris Wagner, Ben Nelson and Jason Greenwell, all KIJHL alumni, who will be his assistants. “With the support of Wagner and Nelson, we wanted to build off what we had done the two years before COVID-19.”

In that season, the Braves were fourth (19-23-4 in 46 games).

Bay began as an assistant coach with the Braves during the 1993-94 season under George Talotti, then Gary Braun. He became the head coach at the start of the 2000/2001 season before stepping down after the 2012/2013 season. He after a five-season absence, leading the Braves to the playoffs after a three-season drought in the 2018/2019 season. During his 14 seasons as a head coach, the Braves made the playoffs 13 times. With a record of 303-334, Bay has helped develop countless players who have moved to higher levels such as the WHL, college, and professional leagues. 

The timing to replace Darin Schumacher now is important with work they need to focus on moving forward, especially the junior A Tier 1 designation the organization hopes to get.

“Mike’s credentials are really good and are a real feather for us to have,” said Tobiason. “We really appreciated what Darin did, however, we feel we have a different path to go on.”