Head Coach & General Manager - Simon Watson
Simon Watson is in his second season as the Pilots Head Coach and General Manager.
Watson played professional hockey in the Central Hockey League (CHL) for the Lubbock Cotton Kings, Rocky Mountain Rage, and the Missouri Mavericks. His strong leadership qualities on and off the ice, and significant contributions to his community didn't go unnoticed as he was named the 2011 CHL Man of the Year.
He played MWJHL junior hockey in his home town, Waterloo, Ontario, for the Waterloo Siskins. From 2001-2006 Watson played NCAA Division 1 collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Masters of Educational Leadership.
On August 5, 2011, Watson retired as a player and became the Mavericks' Assistant Director of Hockey Operations. Watson has continued to work with the Kansas City Mavericks in various capacities including Associate Coach, Director of Player Personnel, and Color Analyst for televised Mavericks games.
On May 9, 2013, he was named to the coaching staff of the KC Mavs Elite Midget AAA team. He also volunteers with the Jr. Mavericks by coaching and teaching youth hockey players in the Kansas City area. Watson is a registered level 5 Coach with USA hockey.
Simon and his wife Megan live in Riverside, Missouri with their two sons Hudson and Sawyer.
Associate Head Coach & Director of Scouting - Justin DeMartino
Justin DeMartino is in his third season with Topeka hockey. In 2017-2018, Justin was assistant coach of the Topeka RoadRunners before become the interim head coach in November 2017. This is his second season with the Pilots as the associate head coach and director of scouting.
Prior to arriving in Topeka, Justin started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant for his alma matter Ferris State University. As a volunteer, he primarily did video and individual skill sessions/workouts with players and goaltenders.
While playing for the Bulldogs from 2010-2014, DeMartino was a part of the 2012 team that finished Runner Up at the Frozen Four and the 2014 team that won the WCHA tournament and lost to North Dakota in the Elite 8. Justin graduated in 2014 with a degree in Sports Communications.
Justin resides in Kansas City, Missouri.
Equipment Manager - George Escamilla
Veteran equipment manager, George Escamilla came to Topeka in 2018 for the Pilots inaugural season in the North American Hockey League. Escamilla, who has been on the bench for nearly 1,500 games, is in his 22nd season in the minor pro and junior hockey ranks.
He began his career with the Amarillo Rattlers of the Western Professional Hockey League and also worked for the Abilene Aviators (WPHL), Fort Worth Brahmas (WPHL and Central Hockey League) and Corpus Christi IceRays (CHL and NAHL).
Escamilla also has worked in minor league baseball as a clubhouse manager for the Amarillo Dillas, Fort Worth Cats and Corpus Christi Hooks, the Class AA affiliate of the Houston Astros. He was part of championship clubs with the Dillas (1999) and Hooks (2006) and won the Texas League’s Best Visitors’ Clubhouse award in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Escamilla, a native of Amarillo, Texas, is a graduate of Phillips University in Enid, Okla. He makes his home in Fort Worth, Texas.
Team Physician - Peter Loo, MD
Dr. Loo was born and raised in Wichita, KS. He was a multisport athlete growing up, which contributed to his passion for taking care of injured athletes.
He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He then attended medical school and residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. After that, he moved back to Wichita for a Sports Medicine fellowship at Via Christi taking care of many of the teams that he grew up playing against and watching as a fan.
He joined St. Francis in 2015 and has been The Pilots team physician since 2018. He wanted to stay in Kansas where both he and his wife are from. They currently live in Basehor, KS and are raising twin boys and one dog.
For more information on how Dr. Loo and his staff could help you, click here.
Athletic Trainer - Brianna Medina-Arnold
Brianna Medina-Arnold, an Austin, Texas native, is in her second season with the Pilots.
The University of Kansas graduate received her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in May 2018. Throughout school Bri gained knowledge in an array of sports including football, volleyball and soccer with the university teams, softball and baseball at Eudora High School, and gymnastics at Lawrence High School.
Bri is excited to continue her work with the Pilots and expand her athletic training knowledge. She lives in Topeka with her kitten Winston.
Strength and Conditioning - Drake Lovvorn
Drake is in his first season with the Pilots. He earned my Bachelor’s of Fitness Management with a Specialization in Rehabilitation in December of 2017 from Wayland Baptist University where he was a collegiate wrestler for four years. During his time at Wayland Drake was a four-time national qualifier and a Student Assistant Coach his final year of school. Drake is also a Certified Personal Trainer with a NCSF (National Council on Strength and Fitness) Certification. He has practiced personal training for over four years. Along with his position with the Pilots he is also the Wellness Supervisor for the University of Kansas Health Systems St. Francis Campus.