A former Kelowna Rockets player and Memorial Cup winner is the new head coach of the Okanagan Rockets.
Simon Ferguson, 31, takes over the helm of the Kelowna-based B.C. Major Midget League club, replacing the recently departed Matt O’Rourke.
Ferguson played in 134 games over two seasons with the WHL’s Rockets, helping them to a Memorial Cup championship in 2004.
The St. Albert, AB native went on to play 500 career games as a pro in the AHL, ECHL and Europe, and won a Calder Cup championship with the Hershey Bears in 2010.
For Ferguson, his first coaching stop is an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. “I’m really excited for the opportunity to get behind the bench, learning a new aspect of the game. I want to come in and continue the success of last season’s club and continue the pursuit of bringing a Telus Cup championship to the Okanagan.”
Okanagan Rockets’ GM David Michaud said Ferguson’s track record as a player speaks for itself.
“Simon Ferguson is a winner,” said Michaud. “When we began our search for a new head coach, we wanted someone who had the experience to lead our players to the next steps in their hockey careers. We are a development league first and foremost, and who better to lead these young men than someone who went through a five-year junior career and ultimately a great pro career. I’m thrilled to have Simon lead our program.”
Ferguson takes over from O’Rourke who stepped down this spring to pursue a business opportunity.
The 2014-2015 season officially begins Aug. 7 to 10 at the Capital News Centre, as the club hosts its annual evaluation camp.