The coaching carousel continues in the BCHL this off-season as now Vernon will have a new head coach in 2011-12. I would guess with the promotion of Jason Williamson to the top job, the Vipers are on the hunt for an assistant coach.
Here’s the official release from the BCHL:
The British Columbia Hockey League announced Wednesday that the Vernon Vipers have hired Jason Williamson as their new head coach after Mark Ferner accepted a job with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.
Williamson, 30, has been Ferner’s assistant the last four years and has been instrumental in the Vipers’ RBC Cup national championships in 2009 and 2010. He’s handled the bulk of the team’s recruiting since joining the club and in May, Williamson helped guide Vernon back to the title game. The 150 Mile House, B.C. native played for the Vipers from 1999 to 2002 before going to Niagara University.
“It was an easy decision to hire Jason,” said Vipers owner Duncan Wray. “He’s been a big part of our team, the players know him, he knows them and he knows our recruits; it will be business as usual and we expect no hiccups. Jason is respected through the hockey world for his contribution to our success since he’s been with us.”
In going to Everett, Ferner returns to his WHL coaching roots. He was with the Kamloops Blazers as an assistant for three seasons before taking their head coaching position in the 2005-06 campaign.
“At this level, our job is to promote our coaching staff as well as our players so we encourage Mark in moving on as it will further his career,” said Wray. “I’m pleased for Mark; I think he’ll do a great job and I wish him the best.”
A Regina native, Ferner accumulated at 165-51-7-17 BCHL record and was named Interior Conference Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
“We are excited for Mark to get this opportunity at the major junior level,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “Mark’s patience and hockey background make him an outstanding teacher and leader. Everett has made an excellent decision in hiring him.”
Ferner was a defenceman in his playing career and was drafted in 1983 by the Buffalo Sabres from the Kamloops Junior Oilers/Blazers franchise where he played three seasons. He went on to play 91 games in the NHL with Buffalo, Washington, Detroit and Anaheim.