Head Coach Mark Van Helvoirt has quit his position two days before the start of the 2016-2017 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season was about to start with the Victoria Cougars. They will open the season against the Saanich Braves at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.
Associate coach Suneil Karod will take over while Thomas Kala remains on as his assistant with Bill Morrison and Brody Coulter.
Apparently the players were informed of the decision on Tuesday before practice, much to their surprise.
The coming season was going to be Van Helvoirt’s ninth with the club. He was the youngest head coach in Cougars’ history.
He coached the team to 373-94-23-4 record over 494 regular-season and playoff games.
During his eight years as head coach, he guided Victoria to six division titles and four league championships. At the Cyclone Taylor Cup, the Cougars finished second twice.
The Cougars won the regular season standings last year for both the South Division as well as the league.