Cougars hire former Ice coach

Mark Holick named to head coaching position a day after the club fired his predecessor.

A day after firing head coach Dean Clark, the Prince George Cougars have hired a familiar face to Kootenay Ice fans to pick up the reins.

Mark Holick, who ran the Kootenay bench from 2007-10, has been named the 10th head coach of the Cougars franchise, announced Cougars general manager Dallas Thompson on Wednesday.

“We’re extremely excited to name Mark our head coach,” said Thompson in a press release. “He brings with him an excellent winning record, pro experience and will bring an exciting new approach to our players and fans.”

Holick recently served as head coach of the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL, a position he took after leaving the Kootenay Ice, was relegated to an associate coach when the Anaheim Ducks, their parent organization, did a coaching shakeup a year ago.

“I’m really excited to get going,” said Holick. “I’m happy to be back in the Western Hockey League and my family and I are looking forward to being a part of the community in Prince George.”

The Kootenay Ice made  the playoffs in all three of Holick’s seasons with the club, accumulating a record of 120-75-0-21. In 2009-10, Holick was awarded the honour of CHL coach of the year.

“We’re going to command a work ethic, commitment and pride in being part of an organization in the Western Hockey League,” said Holick. “We want to be the hardest working team on the ice and when you do that, you win more than you lose.”

Prior to coaching at the major-junior and professional level, Holick lead four different teams in the BCHL and one team in the AJHL for 11 years.

Holick also had a brief stint playing professional hockey for four seasons in the AHL, ECHL and CHL, appearing in 142 games and tallying 73 points.

Holick was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 11th round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft.