Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung is leaving the Trail Smoke Eaters organization after two seasons as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League team. (Mike Hockley photo)

Former Valley West coach leaves post with BC Hockey League team

Jessie Leung spent last two seasons as assistant coach with Trail Smoke Eaters

Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung – who led the major-midget hockey squad to a provincial championship in 2015/16 – is leaving his current post as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

The BCHL team announced Leung’s departure in a news release Thursday afternoon.

The 34-year-old New Westminster native spent two seasons with the Kootenay-area junior ‘A’ team.

“The Smoke Eaters would like to thank Jessie for all of his hard work and dedication over the past two seasons with the organization and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours,” the news release noted.

Leung was at the helm of the Hawks – since rebranded as the Valley West Giants – for six seasons, compiling a record of 73-35-10-4 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss) before leaving for the junior ranks in 2017.

“It’s an opportunity and something I’d been thinking about for the last little bit – whether or not to jump in with both feet and try to make a go of coaching as a career,” he told Peace Arch News at the time.

In his first season in Trail, Leung helped lead the Smokies to the BCHL’s Interior Division final. This past season, they advanced to Game 7 of the divisional semifinal before being knocked out.

Despite the team’s success, Leung told Black Press Media on Thursday that he and the Smoke Eaters could not come to terms on a contract extension.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t come to an agreement for an extension,” said Leung. “They explained to me that the coaching and managerial staff is changing and consequently with those changes there wasn’t a place for me.

“I enjoyed my time in Trail and loved the people that I worked with and coached with and loved the town and how the community embraced me.”

Leung was originally hired to join the staff of then-head coach Cam Keith, but Keith was fired by the Smokies last April, and replaced with Jeff Tambellini, who remains as the head coach/general manager.

Keith spent this past season as an associate coach with the Chilliwack Chiefs, and in late March was hired as the new head coach and associate general manager of the Surrey Eagles.

– with files from Jim Bailey/Trail Daily Times



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Public invited to Swim-to-Survive Day at Gyro Park

The Waterwise team visits Gyro Park on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. with tips on life-preserving skills

Fire engulfs car on weekend

No one injured in incident

Update: Trail police ask for help in locating man

One man was at-large since Friday night, another missing since Sunday

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Nelson rejects plastic bag ban, opts for education and awareness

Council will collaborate with Chamber of Commerce

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read