General Manager & Head Coach - 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 hometown, 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.
Director of Sales and Operations - Brady Hoover
Brady joined the Topeka Pilots at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season and serves as the Director of Sales and Operations. He graduated from Washburn University in May of 2019 where he received a Bachelor’s Degree of Integrated Studies and Communications.
As Director of Sales, Brady manages corporate sponsorships and builds relationships with any current and future partners for the Pilots. He also plays a major role in individual, group, and season ticket sales.
Brady was a member of the Ichabod Baseball Team for two years after transferring from Hutchinson Community College where he also played baseball. During his 2018-2019 senior season, he received the Most Valuable Player Award, All-MIAA Gold Glove First Baseman Award, and Second Team All-MIAA Honors.
Outside of working for the Pilots, he enjoys spending time with his family who resides in the greater Wichita area, supporting Kansas City sports teams, and hanging out with his dog, Ace (who was ironically named before taking his position with the Pilots).
Brady is excited to be a part of the Pilots team and looks forward to growing the sport of hockey in the Topeka area!
Director of Business Development - Keli Lee
Keli is in her third season with NAHL hockey. After graduating from West Texas A&M University in 2017 with an Advertising and Public Relations degree and Marketing minor, she began her sports career with the Amarillo Bulls during the 2017-2018 season as the Ticket Account Executive.
The Kansas City native was anxious to get back to the midwest to be near her family - which led her to the Pilots. As the Director of Business Development, Lee handles the Pilots public relations, community events, school programs, and game production. Keli is also on the Topeka Youth Hockey board to help expand hockey and gain the interest of local children.
Keli is a big sister to Alexis and Madison who live in Iola, Kansas with her parents. She resides in Topeka with her Pitbull mix, Hosmer.
Director of Ticket Accounts & Merchandise - Sally Ives
Sally was born and raised in England before she moved to Spain, then Hawaii and finally Topeka where she was naturalized in 2000 and has spent the past 27 years.
Upon arriving in Topeka Ives began working for the Washburn Rural School District where she spent 12 years. During her time with the school she began volunteering with the hockey team in the 2009-10 season and hasn't looked back since. After volunteering for 6 years, Sally was hired full-time with the team in 2015 as the Merchandise Manager and is now in her second season as the Director of Ticket Accounts & Merchandise for the Pilots.
Ives is a registered Level 1 USA Hockey coach which she uses to help with the Learn to Play program. She has previously been on the Topeka Youth Hockey board as the Director of the Bantams.
Sally and her husband Terry reside in Topeka and are parents to four children and two cats.
Creative Director - Morgan Roberts
Morgan joined the Pilots during the 2018-19 season as the Graphic Content and Social Media Intern. She is currently a senior at Washburn University majoring in Graphic Design and Electronic Art.
As the Creative Director, Roberts keeps the Pilots website and social media up-to-date and administrates the creation and publishing of relevant, original, high-quality content.
When she isn’t glued to a computer screen, she spends time learning French, obsessing over the Dallas Stars and/or Pittsburgh Penguins, and stress baking enough to feed the Midwest.
Morgan lives in Topeka and is excited to be a part of the Pilots organization.
Play-by-Play Broadcaster - Sean Kelly
Sean Kelly is joined the Pilots after moving to Topeka in 2018. Prior to Topeka he was the PA announcer for the Central Illinois Flying Aces. Before that, he worked with different sports organizations throughout the Central Illinois area including broadcasting United Hockey League games for the Bloomington Prairie Thunder.
Sean has a long history with hockey. He grew up in Peoria, Illinois where his father named the Peoria Rivermen back in 1984, which is still the team name to date. He went on to work behind the scenes for the team in the 90’s and 2000’s.
Not only can you listen to him call the Pilots home games, you can also listen to Sean every morning as the Morning Show Host for Majic 107.7. He is very excited to continue his role with the Pilots calling all home games, and travel with the team to select road games this season too!
Sean lives in Topeka with his fiancé Kristi and their three dogs.