The Chilliwack Chiefs have stayed inside the organization to replace departed coach Cam Keith, elevating Brad Rihela into the role of associate head coach and assistant general manager.
Keith departed two weeks ago to take over as head coach of the Surrey Eagles. Rihela was already inside the Chiefs house from last season, when he served as assistant coach and director of player personal, taking a big role in recruiting.
“We’re thrilled that Brad has chosen to bring his level of professionalism and experience to the Chiefs bench for the 2019-20 season,” said Chilliwack head coach, and GM Brian Maloney. “I know our players and staff will benefit greatly from his leadership.”
In three years prior to joining the Chiefs, Rihela coached the bantam prep program at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford.
While at Yale, Rihela won a CSSHL League Title, a Rocky Mountain Classic Championship and guided his team to the prestigious John Reid Memorial Tournament Championship in St. Albert, Alberta.
Prior to Yale, Rihela was the head coach and assistant general manager of the Aldergrove Kodiaks, a junior B program in the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL).
In his first year with the Kodiaks, his crew rallied from a 3-1 hole to beat the Richmond Sockeyes and claim the PJHL championship.
In the 2014-15 season he was named the PJHL Coach of the Year.
This is Rihela’s second stint coaching in the BCHL.
He was an assistant coach with the Prince George Spruce Kings in 2012-13.
“I am extremely excited for this opportunity to expand my role with the Chiefs,” Rihela said. “ I have so much respect for this organization and it is a true privilege to be able to call Chilliwack home. This is the perfect fit for me and my family.”