The Kelowna Rockets have found its new head coach.
The Rockets announced that the Western Hockey League team had hired Brad Ralph from the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads to replace the departed Dan Lambert, who was hired as an assistant coach by the Buffalo Sabres this off-season.
Ralph, 34, was the head coach of the Steelheads for the past three seasons and will be the ninth head coach in Kelowna Rockets history.
Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday at Manhattan Point.
“We’re really excited,” said Hamilton. “Brad has a tremendous coaching record. I believe we found someone who fits in with the culture we have here.”
Last season Ralph was a finalist for ECHL Coach of the Year after compiling a 48-18-6 record and winning the ECHL Pacific Division with the Steelheads. Over a five-year coaching career, Ralph has posted a 203-98-27 record, spending three years in Idaho and two more in Augusta (SPHL) where he was 2011 SPHL Coach of the Year.
“It’s an honour to coach the Kelowna Rockets and I’m excited to get to know the players and the organization,” said Ralph. “The Rockets have a great tradition of winning and I’m looking forward to learning why this team has been so successful over the years. I think there is a great group of players coming back here and I’m excited to guide them back to where they were last year.”
This will be the Rockets’ 25th anniversary season. The team’s training camp begins Aug. 24.