Viper head coach Jason Williamson explains a drill to forward Demico Hannoun last season.

Viper head coach Jason Williamson explains a drill to forward Demico Hannoun last season.

Williamson leaves Vipers’ den

Vernon Vipers’ head coach/GM Jason Williamson has left the B.C. Hockey League franchise for personal reasons.

  • Sep. 8, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Morning Star Staff

Vernon Vipers’ head coach/GM Jason Williamson has left the B.C. Hockey League franchise for personal reasons.

Williamson, 33, was set to enter his fourth year as the bench boss and eighth season overall with the Vipers’ coaching staff.

Last season, the former Viper captain guided the team to the Interior Conference title and a semifinal appearance at the RBC Cup.

Vipers’ president and owner Duncan Wray respects the decision.

“Jason has decided he needs some time away from the game to get his affairs in order and I respect that. He has been great for our hockey club and will be missed, however, we must move forward.”

Assistant Kevin Kraus is the interim head coach/GM, while Eric Godard will increase his role as an assistant coach.

“I think I’m ready to handle the load,” said Kraus. “None of us expected this to happen, but Jason did a good job recruiting and setting up the team for success,” said Kraus.

The Vipers play a final pair of exhibition games this weekend with Prince George Spruce Kings visiting Friday night. The teams battle Saturday night in Prince George.

See Wednesday’s Morning Star for further coverage.