The Olds Grizzlys have recruited an AJHL legend and promoted from within to lead their hockey operations next season.
The Grizzlys announced Joe Murphy as their new Head Coach and Gary Vanhereweghe as their new General Manager and Associate Coach.
Both Murphy and Vanhereweghe signed two-year commitments with the club. Murphy’s agreement also included an option for a third year.
Murphy spent last season as the team’s Associate Coach/Assistant GM. A native of nearby Didsbury, Murphy played for the Grizzlys team that won the Centennial Cup in 1994 before moving on to a lengthy college and pro career.
Vanhereweghe’s junior hockey resume is an impressive one. The Lacombe native led the Camrose Kodiaks to a CJHL Royal Bank Cup championship in 2001 and was named the AJHL Coach of the Year. During his lengthy career he has also served as the Head Coach and General Manager of the Grizzlys, Okotoks Oilers and Lloydminster Bobcats. He also spent time coaching with the Western Hockey League’s Medicine Hat Tigers in 1992 and the Prince Albert Raiders in 1995.
The Grizzlys parted ways with Head Coach Adam Redmond last month after finishing in last place in the AJHL South Division in his lone season behind the bench with an 18-37-5 record.
The rest of the Grizzlys coaching staff for the 2018-19 season will be announced at a later date.
Also over the weekend, the Grizzlys announced the signing of former Red Deer Optimist Chiefs forward Josh McNeil to a contract. McNeil led the Optimist Chiefs in scoring last season with 37 points in 35 games.
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