Jim Ingram’s brief break from the BCHL coaching ranks is over.
The Cowichan Valley Capitals announced on Monday that the former head coach of the Trail Smoke Eaters will join the Island team as associate coach and general manager.
Ingram will share the coaching duties with current coach Dale Purinton, said Jim Knight, the Caps’ operations manager.
Ingram, who resigned his position with the Smokies on March 11, said at the time he wanted to step away from the game for a while.
“I looked into a few things,” he said. “Everybody just assumed I was going there, and obviously I eventually did, but I did take some time to figure out what I wanted to accomplish.”
Ingram’s sudden resignation earlier this month prompted speculation that the Capitals’ ownership had contacted Ingram while he was still under contract with the Smokies.
The Trail executive contacted the BCHL head office and filed tampering charges.
“There was a tampering charge and the league dealt with it internally,” explained Smoke Eaters president Tom Gawryletz.
“The Cowichan Valley Capitals are supposed to contact us with an apology about the way they handled it,” he added.
“The charge was there,” Knight told the reporter Don Bodger of the Cowichan News Leader. “The league looked into it. We didn’t tamper. Some stuff didn’t get done. We thought it did.’’
The league imposed a $5,000 penalty and the majority of that amount will be forwarded to the Smokies, said Gawryletz.
“It wasn’t about the money for us, it was about the business end of it.
“We wish Jim the best and we’re moving on.”
“I don’t have anything to add. From my standpoint I want to make it abundantly clear I appreciated everything I was given here. It’s over with.”
He added the response and support from people in Trail has been overwhelming.
“We’ve had some awesome phone calls and people stopping by. People have been so good to my family and to me. We’ve really appreciated the support.”
That said, Ingram said he has no plans to uproot his family.
“It’s a bit of a different way to do things but we like it here. My wife has a great job and the kids are firmly entrenched here. At the end of the day it’s about them.”
He didn’t think his role as a co-coach would be much different than how things unfolded in Trail.
“I don’t think it’ll be odd at all. At the end of the day I was the head coach here but Billy (Birks) ran the backend Barry (Zanier) had a lot of say on the bench. I spread things out.
“That’s the way I’ve approached this and Dale (Purinton) certainly seems to be a very excited about what’s happening.
“I don’t have all the answers but I have some experience I can draw from. I think it’s going to work out great.”
Knight told the News Leader that the change is exciting for a club that missed the playoffs last year.
“Now we’re going to have two guys who have the passion we want, the commitment.”
Knight downplayed the additional cost of another full-time position when most teams have one man filling both the coaching and general manager’s roles.
“It’s a case of business,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to spend a little money to make money.
“This is a big improvement to our hockey club right now.”