New West Kelowna Warriors head coach Brandon West. —Image: contributed

West Kelowna Warriors sign new head coach

Geoff Grimwood out bench boss of the BCHL team, for the second time

Another big announcement for the West Kelowna Warriors has been released today.

Geoff Grimwood will no longer be the head coach of the team. Brandon West will stepg into the role as head coach and general manager of the hockey club.

“Brandon is an experienced BCHL head coach who is fully capable of putting together a first class program,” Kim Dobranski, club owner and president said in a news release.

“The Interior division is a tough division and I cannot think of anyone better suited to the task. As we head into the playoffs I am confident Brandon can create a formula for success and take our team deep into the playoffs and beyond. Brandon will also be taking the lead in our U18/U16/U15 prospects program, designed to identify futures for the club.”

Contacted Monday, Grimwood said he was unable to talk about his departure at this time.

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors owner and president writes open letter to fans

In September, Grimwood was fired after just 17 days on the job and three days before the start of the 2018-19 BCHL season. The players took to social media in support of their coach, using the hashtag #grimmergate and left a practice early as well refusing to show up for another practice in hopes Grimwood would be reinstated.

Three days after his firing, Dobranski said in a press conference that he made a mistake.

Following the news conference, BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb said the league office heard from many people, including the players about the firing. He said as a result the league discussed the firing with Dobranski and suggested he reverse the decision.

Grimwood has lead the Warriors to 25 wins and 21 losses this season.

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors owner reinstates fired head coach

“I would like to thank Geoff Grimwood for his contribution to our club and wish him much success in his future endeavours,” said Dobranski in a press release.

“I would like to thank Kim Dobranski for this opportunity to be the named head coach/general manager of the West Kelowna Warriors,” said West, also in the news release.

“It is an honour to be back in West Kelowna and work with this elite crop of players. I am excited to get started and look forward to being a part of this great community.”

The Warriors are headed to Surrey on Wednesday to take on the Eagles, then back to the Interior for a home-and-home series against Salmon Arm starting Friday in Salmon Arm. The Warriors are back home to Royal Lepage Saturday, Feb. 2 to host the Silverbacks. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available online at tickets.westkelownawarriors.ca or at the box office one hour before puck drop. Contact the office for group rates.

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