Leafs assistant McFarland officially leaves to coach OHL’s Frontenacs

Paul McFarland (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that assistant coach Paul McFarland has officially left the organization to become the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs.

Additionally, the Maple Leafs did not renew the contract of assistant coach Andrew Brewer, who was in his fifth season with Toronto.

The Leafs gave McFarland permission to interview with the Frontenacs after the club fired head coach Kurtis Foster in April. After receiving the job with Kingston in May, McFarland stayed with the Maple Leafs through the end of their 2019-20 season, which concluded with a qualifying round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“My passion and ambition is to be a head coach,” McFarland said during a media conference call in May. “And I think the only way to be a head coach is to gain that experience and the CHL for me is if not the best, one of the best development leagues for all of hockey. That goes for players but also staff.”

A 34-year-old native of Richmond Hill, Ont., McFarland was head coach of the Frontenacs for three seasons from 2014 to 2017 before taking an assistant coach’s job with the Florida Panthers.

McFarland spent two seasons with Florida before joining the Maple Leafs’ staff under Mike Babcock prior to the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

McFarland made the playoffs in all three of his years in Kingston, reaching the second round twice. The Frontenacs went 111-71-13-9 under McFarland as coach.

– With files from the Canadian Press

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.