Trail Smoke Eaters fire Birks

The Trail Smoke Eaters’ Bill Birks era has come to an end.

The Trail Smoke Eaters’ Bill Birks era has come to an end after the board of directors voted to relieve the head coach and GM of his duties Wednesday.

Birks joined the Smoke Eaters organization as an assistant coach under Jim Ingram in the summer of 2010, and was named head coach in May of 2011.

“With the slow start to the season, the board felt it was time to make a change,” said Smoke Eaters president Tom Gawryletz in a release.

The Smoke Eaters current five-game losing streak turned a promising .500 start into an unimpressive 4-9-1-1 record, and last place in the BCHL’s Interior division.

After a dismal opening campaign where the Smokies won just 11 games in 2011-12, Birks second season was a marked improvement winning 26 matches and just missing a playoff berth, resulting in a one year contract extension.

Birks’ record as the Smoke Eater bench boss in just over two years is 41-79-2-9.

Assistant coaches Barry Zanier and Craig Clare will take over as interim head coaches. The club will now begin the search for a full-time head coach.

“We thank Bill for everything he has done during his three and a half years with our club and wish him the best in the future,” Gawryletz added.