Rockets’ assistant resigns

Kelowna Rockets' assistant coach Ryan Cuthbert resigns.

Ryan Cuthbert has resigned from his position as assistant coach with the Rockets.

Ryan Cuthbert has resigned from his position as assistant coach with the Rockets.

KELOWNA – Ryan Cuthbert is taking a step back from the game he’s been immersed in for much of his life.

The Kelowna Rockets this week announced the 30-year-old Swift Current, Sask. native has resigned from the WHL club’s coaching staff for personal reasons.

Cuthbert, who spent the last five seasons as an assistant to Rockets’ head man Ryan Huska, is ready for a change.

“This is a personal choice for me,” said Cuthbert. “I’m going to explore different opportunities. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, it’s like leaving family, but I weighed my options and decided it’s time to try new things.

“I think of the Hamilton family and the Rockets as my family. I want to thank them for the opportunity to work for what I believe is the best junior organization in Canada and for their continued support through this transition.”

Rockets president and GM Bruce Hamilton regrets his team will be losing a passionate and valuable asset, but fully supports Cuthbert’s decision.

“I think it was really a tough decision for him, but he just needed to step back and figure things out,” said Hamilton. “It certainly surprised all of us. I’m not so sure he’s done with the game altogether, but he needs to feel good about what he’s doing with his life.

Hamilton said the Rockets won’t fill the vacancy left by Cuthbert. In 2012-13, Huska will once again be assisted by Dan Lambert, Kim Dillabaugh and Kim Gellert.