The Ice have hired Todd Johnson, 38, most recently of Kelowna along with Jerry Bancks, 55, of Kimberley as assistant coaches to the recently named head coach, Kris Knoblauch.
Johnson, a former Rebel captain and member of the 92 Blazer's Memorial Cup team, comes to the Ice from Kelowna's hockey factory, POE (Pursuit of Excellence) while Jerry - whose son Carter just graduated from the WHL ranks - has retired from teaching in Kimberley to join the Ice. I had heard that Bancks was actually going to throw his name in the hat to coach one of Cranbrook Minor Hockey's Tier II clubs that play in the SCAHL (Southern Alberta) League but obviously a better opportunity arose.
Many had batted around former Ice captain Colin Sinclair's name around as a candidate but Sinclair, who makes his off-season home in Cranbrook after marrying a local girl a couple of summers back is still looking to play professionally with Bolzano HC in Italy this season. He's running 'Hockey in the Rockies' hockey school in Cranbrook and Invermere this month with Don Murdoch.
In Spokane the Chiefs announced that Cranbrook product Jon Klemm has signed a new, two-year deal with the club to remain as an assistant coach under new bench boss Don Nachbaur. Fernie product Chris Moulton signed on with a three-year deal to continue as Director of Player Personel.
Also a get well note to former Ice GM and current Tri-City Americans GM Bob Tory who was in hospital for the past few days due to high blood pressure.
Here's the Ice release:
ICE Name New Assistant Coaches
Cranbrook, BC – Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club today announced the Club has hired Todd Johnson and Jerry Bancks as their new Assistant Coaches. Both coaches have signed two-year contracts along with a club option for a third year.
“It is very exciting for our organization to have these two gentlemen join our coaching staff. Both men are teachers by trade so they will be able to relate to the young players of today. They also have played in the League and have coached at different levels which will definitely be an asset to our Club”, continued Chynoweth.
“Both Todd and Jerry are passionate to begin coaching in the Western Hockey League. Our players will benefit a great deal from their experience teaching individual skills,” commented Head Coach Kris Knoblauch.
Todd Johnson played three seasons in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors (1990-1991), Kamloops Blazers (1991-1992) and Red Deer Rebels (1992-1993). He won a Memorial Cup with the Blazers in 1992 and was also the first ever captain of the Rebels. Todd played five years at the University of Calgary (1993-1998) and obtained a Bachelor of Education degree. Upon his graduation from University he played professionally in Germany (1998-2004). For the past six years he has been involved with the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, BC, including the last four years as Head Coach of the Midget AAA team.
Jerry Bancks has been involved with hockey in Kimberley for a number of years, including two different stints as Assistant Coach with the Kimberley Dynamiters. Recently retired after teaching for 30 years, he will continue to teach at the School District 6 Sports School in Kimberley. Jerry played two years in the Western Canada Hockey League with the Lethbridge Broncos and Calgary Centennials (1974-1976). Upon graduating from the WCHL he went on to play five years with the University of Calgary (1976-1980). Jerry also achieved a Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education degrees at the University of Calgary.
Todd Johnson is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. He and his wife Miriam are the parents of one son – Eli (2). Todd will be joining the ICE on August 23.
Jerry Bancks is a native of Calgary, Alberta. He and his wife Marilyn are the parents of two children – Cassidy (23) and Carter (21). Jerry will be joining the ICE at Training Camp on September 2.