In a rapid turn of events, newly appointed Kenai Brown Bears Head Coach Keenan Kelly has stepped down from the position to return home to Idaho. Kelly has accepted a position with the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads to be closer to his mother and family.
From Coach Kelly-
Obviously it’s pretty special to be able to coach pro hockey in my hometown, but at the end of the day, it allows me to be close to my family during these trying times with my Mother’s battle with cancer.
All the players understand and support my decision. It’s a pretty good group of kids that I was looking forward to coach this season and would love to see that group succeed.
I reiterated that even though I’m no longer coaching there, our relationship doesn’t end. I’ll still be available to help the players in anyway I can.
Kelly is the second coach to accept the Brown Bears job only to resign soon after. Legendary coach Moe Mantha accepted the Kenai River offer a few years back, only to change his mind to also remain home and closer to his then sick mother.
We wish only the best for Coach Kelly and would not be at all surprised to see him back in the NAHL again.
As for the Brown Bears... like sand through the hour glass, these are the days of our lives. There are few that can step into that head coaching role this late in the off-season and make a positive impact.
Break out the popcorn, NAHL hockey is going to be very interesting on the Peninsula this season.
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.