The new ownership of the West Kelowna Warriors Junior A Hockey Club is dealing with a coaching controversy after a player protest began after a coaching change. Interim head coach Geoff Grimwood was fired by Warriors owner Kim Dobranski on Monday. The players responded by leaving the ice on Tuesday and going on a hike. According to Post Media reporter Steve Ewen the team started a hashtag #grimmergate to protest the firing.
On Thursday Dobranski held a press conference where he reinstated Grimwood as head coach. In a statement he said that "I first off want to apologize to the players and their families for any uncertainty caused by the coaching changes that occurred." He goes on to say that "In the early going here as owner, I made some decisions that, upon reflection, were not in the best interests of the players. With the support of the BCHL, I've reconsidered those decisions and am confident now that we've made a place for our players to develop in a competitive setting."
The BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb has commented saying that "There has been a steep learning curve with a new owner here but we are putting our efforts behind the West Kelowna Warriors and will support and advise them as they request this season." He goes on to say that "This club won a national championship in 2016 and have another outstanding recruiting class this season. I fully expect them to again be a strong team in the interior division."
It was reported that new owner Dobranski wanted to hire a coach to replace the interim Grimwood That coach was set to be Jason Beckett. Beckett had been coaching at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna before being tapped as Grimwood's replacement.
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