KIJHL: New and old coaches join teams

A pair of KIJHL teams, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and the Fernie Ghostriders, hired new and old coaches last week.

A pair of KIJHL teams, the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and the Fernie Ghostriders, hired new and old coaches last week.

Josh Hepditch is the new head coach and general manger of the Thunder Cats, and the recent arrival couldn’t be happier with his new home.

“I’m blown away. It’s an extremely friendly, supportive town from what I’ve seen so far,” he said, adding that he and his wife, Kathryn, were invited to spend their first night in town at her employers’ home, even though the Creston PhysioWorks and More owners hadn’t met the couple.

The 27-year-old New Brunswick native recently arrived in Creston, although he’s been researching and recruiting since the team hired him in mid-June, even helping out at a Merritt training camp with 2007-2011 Thunder Cats coach Joe Martin.

Hepdich replaces last years coach Brent Heaven who joined the Trail Smoke Eaters earlier this year as an assistant coach.

The Fernie Ghostriders also hired Barry Wolff to take on the role of head coach and general manager for the 2012/13 season.

Wolff was a Ghostriders’ coach and GM for three seasons when the Junior B hockey club was part of the North American Hockey League. After spending the last few years coaching at the Junior A level in the B.C. Hockey League and the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Wolff couldn’t be happier to return to the Ghostriders.

“It’s just one of the best organizations I’ve ever worked for. The town is awesome, the people and the support, from the corporate people to the fans, it’s unbelievable,” Wolff said.

“I’ve worked with private ownership, community run teams, and this is obviously one of the best. That’s what brought me back.”