After a season serving as Ken Andrusiak’s right-hand man, Jason Tansem is taking over as head coach of the Kelowna Chiefs.
Tansem, 37, who worked as an assistant with the Chiefs in 2013-14, is looking forward to assuming the helm of the KIJHL club in his hometown.
“I’m excited about working with the people and the staff that are already in place here,” said Tansem. “Kelowna has a good image within the KIJHL, which I think is the top junior B league in the country.
“I’m most excited about recruiting kids, touching base with them, and getting the right kids here to play for Kelowna.”
Tansem has spent the last four years as head coach of West Kelowna Minor Hockey. He has coached at several other levels, including midget AAA in Prince George, junior B in Alberta and with Hockey Canada.
“I’ve been in coaching for a long time and have always enjoyed working with young players and seeing them develop,” Tansem said. “In this league (KIJHL), some players at 16 or 17 might not yet be ready for the next level, so this is a good place for them to get the experience they need before they move on.”
Ken Andrusiak was the club’s first and only head coach after the Chiefs relocated to Kelowna from Chase prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.
Also a part owner of the team, Andrusiak will remain on as the Chiefs’ assistant GM and video coach.
With Andrusiak moving into his new role, Chiefs’ GM Grant Sheridan said Tansem was the logical replacement.
“As a team, we not only work to develop players for the next level of their hockey career but also our coaching staff,” said Sheridan. “Tansem played a major role with the Chiefs during the 2013-14 season as assistant coach and I’m pleased that he has taken on the new role with the club.”
“I don’t think a lot is going to change here in the way things are done,” said Tansem. “We all have our own ideas, but I think in general the team is going to run much the same it has the last few years.”
Tansem’s first order of business is the club’s annual spring camp this weekend at Rutland Arena.