Darren Naylor resigns as Revelstoke Grizzlies head coach

Darren Naylor has resigned as head coach of the Revelstoke Grizzlies, citing family reasons for his decision.

Darren Naylor has resigned after 24 games as the Revelstoke Grizzlies head coach.

Darren Naylor has resigned as head coach of the Revelstoke Grizzlies, citing family reasons for his decision.

“Basically my number one thing is my family,” he told the Times Review. “I’ve been traveling back and forth between (Revelstoke) and the coast and it’s weighing on me.”

He alluded to other factors, but would not go into them in our interview.

Rob Fitzpatrick, who coached the Grand Forks Border Bruins from 2006 to 2009, will replace Naylor on an interim basis, said owner Lew Hendrickson.

Naylor was hired as the Grizzlies coach at the start of the season; he was the team’s third hire in the off-season after last year’s coach Kevin Kraus left.

He inherited a team that had done almost no recruiting in the off-season. He managed to assemble a roster but many players came and went throughout the season.

Under him, the team’s showed signs of being competitive, but a lack of offensive depth, costly penalties and inconsistent defensive play had them mired in second-to-last place in the KIJHL with a 7-15-0-2 record.

Naylor’s departure comes after the Grizzlies were blown out 11-2 by the Creston Valley Thunder Cats last Friday.

On Thursday, Naylor left Revelstoke to see his family. He told the Times Review he would be in Kamloops to coach the team on Friday, but Friday morning he said he had resigned.

The news, while not unexpected, did catch Hendrickson by surprise. “I wish the circumstances weren’t what it was but there was some player issues and probably at the end of the day what’s best for everybody is him going back to look after his family,” he said.

Captain Devon Hascarl said spirits had been down in the dressing room recently, and that the change had the players feeling better.

“Something had to lift the spirits here, something had to change,” he said. “It’s never easy bringing somebody new in, re-learning everything, but then again, the guys are excited for a change.”

Fitzpatrick, who was hired as an assistant coach earlier this week, takes over the Grizzlies as they head into a three-game weekend against divisional rivals Kamloops, Sicamous and Chase. Kamloops is running away with the division but the latter two teams are within reach in the standings. “We have to beat those teams,” said Hascarl.

The Grizzlies have gone through a new coach every year since 2009. Hendrickson said that was the nature of Junior B, where both players and coaches are trying to move up to Junior A.

Hendrickson said he is looking for a full-time replacement and had several candidates in line.

When asked about former Grizzlies coach and Revelstoke resident Randy Quakenbush, Hendrickson said there had been conversations. “He’s one of the options,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Search at Silver Creek property enters third day

A portion of the property has been cordoned off with black landscaping fabric

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police are not saying how this search is related to Curtis Wayne Sagmoen’s current criminal charges

Debate heats up over fire protection

Revelstoke and regional district at odds over fire suppression agreement

Day 2 of RCMP search at Silver Creek residence

Police use backhoe in ongoing search effort at residential/agricultural Salmon River Road property

Controlled burns no cause for concern

Annual clean-up by forestry companies includes burning debris from logging activity

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Symphony trumpets in new season

Kamloops Symphony makes first appearance of the 2017-18 season in Salmon Arm

Column: Back to the land in the 21st century

By Jim Cooperman, Observer columnist There is a slowly growing movement back… Continue reading

Column: Sockeye fisheries hinder recovery

While driving to the Coast a few weeks ago, the last week… Continue reading

Auntie Says: Don’t bring your dope to my house

Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you, but if you try and smoke at my house, you’ll be asked to leave

Most Read