Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung is leaving the Trail Smoke Eaters organization after two seasons as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League team. (Mike Hockley photo)

Former Valley West coach leaves post with BC Hockey League team

Jessie Leung spent last two seasons as assistant coach with Trail Smoke Eaters

Former Valley West Hawks head coach Jessie Leung – who led the major-midget hockey squad to a provincial championship in 2015/16 – is leaving his current post as an assistant coach with the BC Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters.

The BCHL team announced Leung’s departure in a news release Thursday afternoon.

The 34-year-old New Westminster native spent two seasons with the Kootenay-area junior ‘A’ team.

“The Smoke Eaters would like to thank Jessie for all of his hard work and dedication over the past two seasons with the organization and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours,” the news release noted.

Leung was at the helm of the Hawks – since rebranded as the Valley West Giants – for six seasons, compiling a record of 73-35-10-4 (win-loss-tie-overtime loss) before leaving for the junior ranks in 2017.

“It’s an opportunity and something I’d been thinking about for the last little bit – whether or not to jump in with both feet and try to make a go of coaching as a career,” he told Peace Arch News at the time.

In his first season in Trail, Leung helped lead the Smokies to the BCHL’s Interior Division final. This past season, they advanced to Game 7 of the divisional semifinal before being knocked out.

Despite the team’s success, Leung told Black Press Media on Thursday that he and the Smoke Eaters could not come to terms on a contract extension.

“I’m disappointed we couldn’t come to an agreement for an extension,” said Leung. “They explained to me that the coaching and managerial staff is changing and consequently with those changes there wasn’t a place for me.

“I enjoyed my time in Trail and loved the people that I worked with and coached with and loved the town and how the community embraced me.”

Leung was originally hired to join the staff of then-head coach Cam Keith, but Keith was fired by the Smokies last April, and replaced with Jeff Tambellini, who remains as the head coach/general manager.

Keith spent this past season as an associate coach with the Chilliwack Chiefs, and in late March was hired as the new head coach and associate general manager of the Surrey Eagles.

– with files from Jim Bailey/Trail Daily Times



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLBCMML

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

Recharged Sharks aim for playoffs after ‘well-earned’ break

Bayside rugby club mixes youth with returning veterans in quest for men’s Div. 1 title

Pedestrian fatality in Surrey

Police are investigating at 183 Street and Highway 10

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants make it nine straight

Roman scores hat trick as team dominates Seattle

Most Read