Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hay Heading Home to Kamloops

It's the end of an era in Vancouver. Giants Head Coach Don Hay is heading back to his home town to take over behind the bench of the Kamloops Blazers. It will be Hay's second stint as the Blazers' bench boss after he led the club to back-to-back Memorial Cups in 1994 and 1995. Hay leaves the Giants after 10 seasons as Head Coach. During his time in Vancouver, the team won the WHL Championship and the Memorial Cup and only missed the playoffs once under his tenure. Hay also moved into second place on the WHL's all-time coaching wins list this past season.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank Don for this past season. It was a pleasure to work with such a legendary coach, and I wish him all the best in Kamloops.

Here's the full press release from the Giants:

The Vancouver Giants announced today that Don Hay will return to his hometown to coach the Kamloops Blazers.

"Blazers' Owner Tom Gaglardi contacted me last week and asked for permission to speak with Don," said Giants Majority Owner Ron Toigo. "I'm sure Don is looking forward to moving home and spending more time with his family and enjoying the time with his grandkids. He came here when we were a young franchise and helped develop an identity for the Giants, and showed us how to win. He leaves with a Memorial Cup, WHL Championship, and 5 BC Division Titles. I can't say how much we appreciate what Don has done and what he has meant to the Vancouver Giants Franchise."

The Kamloops native joined the Giants in the 2004-05 season and was with the Giants for 10 seasons. Hay became the third coach to reach a milestone 600-career regular season WHL wins this past season.

"I'd like to thank Ron Toigo and the ownership group of the Vancouver Giants for giving me the opportunity to be the Head Coach in Vancouver for 10 great years," said Hay. "I've really enjoyed my time in Vancouver and it's hard to leave the team. I'd also like to thank everyone in the organization that helped us have success along the way - assistant coaches, trainers, and most importantly the players. And last but not least, I'd like to thank all the Vancouver fans for their support through the years."

In his 10 seasons with the team, Hay coached the Giants to a 401-252-26-37 record. He guided the Giants to win five straight B.C. Division titles (2006 to 2010), and to appearances at the Western Conference Finals in four of five seasons, and two straight WHL league Finals (2006 and 2007). Under his leadership, the Giants won the WHL Championship in 2006 and the Memorial Cup in 2007.

Further information will be provided by the Kamloops Blazers.

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