BCHL – Vipers, Backs get new coaches

Within a span of a week, the two finalists in the BCHL’s Interior Conference lost and replaced their head coaches.

Within a span of a week, the two finalists in the BCHL’s Interior Conference lost and replaced their head coaches.

Last week, Tim Kehler announced his resignation from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and on Tuesday, Mark Ferner stepped down as head coach of the Vernon Vipers.

In four years with the Vipers, Ferner guided the team to three straight Fred Page Cup BCHL championships, three consecutive Doyle Cup (B.C.-Alberta) titles and three straight appearances in the Royal Bank Cup Canadian championship final. The Vipers won the RBC Cup in 2009 and 2010, and lost this year’s championship game to Ontario’s Pembroke Lumber Kings 2-0.

The Vernon Morning Star reported the Vipers are promoting assistant Jason Williamson to head coach and GM.

Meanwhile in Salmon Arm, the Silverbacks announced Colin O’Hara would take over the role of head coach and GM role.

Kehler, who coached in Trail from 2004 to 2007 before accepting an assistant coaching position with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos, returned to the BCHL last year.

According to the Silverbacks’ website, he stepped down to pursue other coaching  opportunities.