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West Kelowna's Junior A Hockey Club have lost an integral part of their staff as their General Manager and Head Coach stepped down from the bench ahead of the 2018/2019 hockey season.
The West Kelowna Warriors announced Rylan Ferster's resignation on Tuesday, filling the ex-Head Coach and GM's position on an interim basis with Geoff Grimwood, previously Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager.
Matt Miller, Warriors Assistant Coach, and Chad Carder, Goaltending Coach, remain on the Warriors bench staff.
Ferster spent the past seven years at the Warriors helm, guiding the team through 406 regular season games from 2011 to 2018 to which the team developed a strong 210-150-35 record and finished second in the regular season Interior Division race three times.
Ferster also led the squad to six straight postseason showings and numerous championship bouts including the BCHL Fred Page Cup, Westen Canada Cup, RBC Cup National Championship and the club's first Interior Division Championship.
“There’s so many people to thank over my seven seasons in West Kelowna . . . I’d like to thank the Cheyne family for bringing me on in 2011 and being great people to work under. I’d also like to thank Kim Dobranski for keeping the team in West Kelowna and working as hard as he has to give a chance for hockey to stay in a great community like West Kelowna,” said Ferster.
“The coaching staff I’ve had over the years, billet families and fans have been incredibly supportive and wish the team all the best in the future.”
Ferster's interim replacement, Grimwood, will temporarily take the reins after being named Associate Head Coach and Assistant General Manager in early July.
Associate Head Coach and Assistant GM Geoff Grimwood has taken over the Head Coach and General Manager position on an interim basis #BCHL— West-K Warriors (@BCHLWarriors) August 21, 2018
“I am very grateful for the opportunity from Mr. Dobranski to step into the Head Coach and GM job on an interim basis,” said Grimwood. “The most important thing to me was having the support and encouragement of Rylan to take the job. I am disappointed not to be able to work with Rylan but am excited to build on the culture, success and tradition he has built in West Kelowna.”
The club would like to thank Ferster for his seven years with the Warriors and wish him all the best.
“It’s difficult to see an experienced and highly respected coach like Rylan go,” stated Warriors owner Kim Dobranski,
“He meant a lot to the people in this community and we’d like to thank him for everything he has done with the program."
Ferster was at the helm of the Warriors from 2011-2018, holding a 210-150-35 record as the bench boss. He led West Kelowna to a BCHL, Western Canada Cup and RBC Cup National Championship in 2016. Thank you for everything you have done, @westkcoach! #BCHL— West-K Warriors (@BCHLWarriors) August 21, 2018
Season tickets for the Warriors upcoming 2018 and 2019 season are now on sale. Their regular season will begin on the road on September 7 but will return to Royal LePage Place to host the Trail Smoke Eaters in their home opener on Sept. 8.