James Eccles was hired as the new head coach and general manager of the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
Eccles joins the Grizzlies with a lengthy resume as a coach, scout and instructor in leagues including the NCAA, BCHL and BC major midget.
“I talked to the guys he coached with, and they all said he would be a very good candidate for a Junior B,” said Lew Hendrickson, the owner of the Grizzlies. “So I just went with a gut instinct, is what it boiled down to.”
The Times Review was unable to reach Eccles for an interview prior to press time.
Eccles spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. In his first season the team finished fourth in the league with a 20-12-8 record. Last year the team finished third with a 26-8-6 record and wound up losing two games to one to the Vancouver Giants in the league finals. In both seasons he was a coach at the league’s all star game, first as an assistant and then as head coach.
He has been an assistant coach with the Penticton Vees and Westside Warriors of the BCHL, and with the State University of New York (SUNY) in the NCAA Division 3, where he was also head coach for one season. He spent time as a scout with the Warriors and the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL; and has been the lead instructor at the Hockey Canada Skills Academy in Kelowna since 2008.
He holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology & Sports Management from Kent State University and a Masters of Science in Recreation & Leisure Management from SUNY.
He also serves as the director of the Coastal Hockey Showcase, a scouting combine for aspiring junior and NCAA players, and is the founder and CEO of the Advancement Sports Group, a hockey skills development organization.
Eccles is the Grizzlies sixth coach in the past six seasons. The Grizzlies main camp is set for August 23-25.
The team will be playing two exhibition games in Golden on Sept. 7-8, one against Golden and the other against the Glacier Nationals from Whitefish, Montana. Hendrickson said they also hope to schedule one game in Revelstoke.