Kevin Kraus is moving on after one season as the Revelstoke Grizzlies head coach after being hired as an assistant coach with the Junior A Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
“It’s an opportunity that’s hard to pass up,” Kraus told the Times Review. “Working in the BCHL with a coach like Troy Mick is an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often. When I got offered it I decided to jump on it.”
Kraus, 23, was hired as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies at the start of the 2010-11 season. As a player, he captained the Vancouver Vipers of the BCHL to the RBC Cup.
Kraus assumed the head coaching duties of the Revelstoke Grizzlies after Randy Quakenbush was let go following the 2011-12 season. In his only season as coach, the Grizzlies went 27-21-3-1 for a third place finish in the Doug Birks Division. They were eliminated in the first round in five games by the Sicamous Eagles.
“I enjoyed my past two years here and I thought we could build on what we started to do last year,” said Kraus. “But, again, it is hard to pass up an opportunity like that.”
Mick is regarded as one of the top coaches in Junior A hockey. In the past, he coached the Vernon Vipers to an RBC Cup. In 2010, he guided the Grizzlies to the Keystone Cup as the top Junior B team in western Canada. He left following the season to join the Pursuit of Excellence hockey program in Kelowna. He joined the Silverbacks last year and is regarded as one of the better coaches in Junior A.
“I’m a young coach and to work with a guy like Troy who’s been around and won RBC cups as a coach – he’s a proven coach in that league and he’s one of the top recruiters out there,” said Kraus. “There’s a lot of things I can learn from him. Not just coaching wise, but life lessons as well.”
Kraus was the Grizzlies fifth head coach in five seasons. Owner Lew Hendrickson said he was disappointed to lose Kraus, but that he had already been in contact with several candidates for the vacated position.
“I thought he would be around for one more year,” said Hendrickson. “Things changed and the opportunity came up. Troy phoned me and asked me for permission and I reluctantly said yes.”