DON HAY RETURNS HOME AS BLAZERS HEAD COACH
Kamloops, BC – The Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club is pleased to announce that the team has hired Don Hay as Head Coach.
“Don is one of the most successful junior hockey coaches of all-time,” said President and Governor, Tom Gaglardi. “He has done nothing but win and develop world class hockey players.”
Hay has a long-standing history in Kamloops. The Kamloops native started his coaching career with the Blazers as an Assistant Coach from 1986 until 1992. He then took over as Head Coach of the Blazers from 1992 to 1995.
In Hay’s nine seasons with the Kamloops Blazers the franchise won four WHL Championships and three Memorial Cups.
“On behalf of our ownership group, we are thrilled to have Don back home with the Kamloops Blazers organization. This is an exciting day for our franchise,” said Gaglardi.
Hay is the second winningest coach in WHL history. He has compiled a career 609-380-83 record over 16 seasons as a Head Coach with Kamloops, Tri-City and Vancouver.
In total, Hay has won four WHL Championships and four Memorial Cups. He has also twice been named WHL Coach of the Year, in 1999 and 2009.
“I’m very excited that Don Hay is returning to the Blazers,” commented co-owner, Jarome Iginla. “He truly is one of the best coaches I have had in my career. He has a long history of developing teams and players through his relentless work ethic. It will be exciting to watch.”
Hay spent seven seasons coaching professional hockey in the NHL and AHL between 1995 and 2004. He spent two of those seasons as an NHL Head Coach with the Phoenix Coyotes and the Calgary Flames.
“Don and I have had a long standing relationship for many years,” commented General Manager, Craig Bonner. “Don coached me as a player with the Blazers and we worked well together with the Vancouver Giants winning a WHL Championship and a Memorial Cup.”
Hay has also had success internationally coaching Canada to a Gold Medal at the 1995 World Junior Championship and a fourth place finish in 2012. He also coached Canada’s 2013 Under-18 Men’s team to a Gold Medal in Sochi, Russia.
“Don is a demanding coach that will get the best out of our players. We believe he will improve our program and develop the young and talented players we have on our roster,” commented Bonner.
“We are extremely excited to have Don back home,” said co-owner, Mark Recchi.
Hay has been inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame and the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame.