Photo: West Kelowna Warriors website. West Kelowna Warriors assistant coach Matt Miller.

West Kelowna Warriors coach is youngest in the league

Matt Miller is an assistant coach for the Warriors and is 20 years old

Matt Miller has always known what he wants to do with his career.

The Maple Ridge, B.C. native became involved in the coaching world of hockey at 13-years-old as a video coach with the Penticton Vees, and is now, at 20, the youngest coach in the BCHL as an assistant coach with the West Kelowna Warriors.

“I don’t get any slack (as a young coach),” said Miller.”I work as hard as I can and I do whatever I can to help our team.”

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors host 8th annual Christmas hamper night

In a city where the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets dominate most of the hockey attention, the West Kelowna Warriors games still draw in decent sized crowds on weekdays and roaring crowds for weekend games. Warriors’ games may have a smaller venue than the Rockets, but Miller said they offer just as much to their fans — if not more.

“(The team) is good for the community, and the community is more involved with the team. I think the BCHL is a better league in general than the WHL,” said Terry Carlson, an avid Warriors fan, who attends most games. “The skating is better, as well as the skill level. I predict that in the next two years or so, this West Kelowna building will be more full than (Prospera Place). With more coverage, this league will just get better and better.”

Though the BCHL and WHL are different junior hockey leagues, Miller agrees that the BCHL is one of the best leagues in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The CJHL has 10 total leagues which feature 132 different teams — playing in the BCHL means playing against some of the best players and the best coaches in North America (there are five teams that play in the U.S.A).

RELATED: Lawrence Nagy returns to Sun as General Manager

“Every night, you can lose against any team,” said Miller. “With coaching, I just take it one step at a time. Getting prepared every night against a different team is the biggest challenge. But that’s the difficulty that comes with playing in the BCHL, which really is one of the best leagues in the country.”

The Warriors have been the centre of adversity since their new owner purchased them at the beginning of the season which led to drama Miller says the team tries to ignore.

“Our guys focus on playing the game. They take out all of the outside noise and focus on the game. Our head coach Geoff (Grimwood) has done a really good job to keep the drama away from the players.”

BCHL players can go on to play in various professional leagues including the NHL and universities. At the 2018 NHL draft, a record seven BCHL players were drafted by NHL teams, with the highest picked player going at No. 48. BCHL players are also scouted for university clubs and a few examples are West Kelowna Warriors’ players Willie Reim and Bennett Norlin who have committed to the U.S Air Force Academy hockey program.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Peeling away: OK strip clubs disappearing

Hear from Penticton’s only strip club owner about their success in a dying industry

Okanagan’s oldest mayor shows no sign of slowing down

Mayor James Baker has decades of history in his political career

The hunt is on: Lake Country egg hunt kicks off Easter weekend

It’s the biggest Easter egg hunt in Lake Country

Rollover in West Kelowna

An SUV rollover was reported just after 8:30 a.m. on Boucherie Road.… Continue reading

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Annual Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup returns easter weekend

The goal of the Vernon-based event is to revitalize the game and the tradition of an all-native hockey tournament in the Interior.

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Traffic flagger ‘pushed’ by vehicle in Osoyoos on April 18

Aimee Attig is looking for witnesses of the incident that took place on Highway 3 near the AG Foods

Shuswap dancer stays across street from Penticton shooting day after Salmon Arm tragedy

Dancers come for festival, put in lockdown in rec centre, watch police response from Airbnb window

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Vernon choir marks 40 years of making music

Order of Canada recipient directs finale

Most Read