Willison Resigns as Grizzlys Head Coach

Courtesy of 96.5CKFM.ca

After a November to forget, Olds will enter December with a new Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations. The organization announced Kevin Willison’s resignation this morning. Didsbury’s Brett Hopfe takes over behind the bench.

Kevin Willison’s time with the Grizzlys organization ended on Monday as he tendered his resignation.

Saturday night Olds lost 5-2 at home to Grand Prairie to cap off a full month without a victory (0-7-1-2).

Assistant Coach Brett Hopfe will take over for the remainder of the season as the interim Head Coach according to team Vice President Ken Wolosiuk.Wolosiuk says the coaching situation will be re-evaluated again in the off-season.

Willison was hired in August of 2010. Last year he lead the team to a 23-30-0-7 record good for 5th in the south division with 53 points. Olds was swept by the Calgary Mustangs in the first round of the playoffs. So far this season the Grizzlys have 21 points (9-18-0-3) and sit in a 5th place tie with the Calgary Canucks.

Hopfe is a Didsbury product who has served as an assistant coach with the Grizzlys for the last 3 seasons. He attended & graduated from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania following his AJHL career with Olds. In 2 seasons with the Grizzlys Hopfe had 64 goals, 57 assists, 102 points, & 579 penalty minutes in 118 games. (He may be the first former Grizzlys player to come back to serve as Head Coach, I’ll try to check on that and update later – GH)

Click here to listen to audio interviews with Grizzlys Vice President Ken Wolosiuk, and interim Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations Brett Hopfe.