Jerry Bancks is returning to the Kimberley Dynamiters.
Bancks, who has been an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice over the last three seasons, is the new head coach and general manager for the KIJHL Junior B team, according to the club, which made the announcement on Thursday.
“His experience with the Kootenay Ice, he’s been working under some high-end coaches—Ryan McGill, Kris Knoblauch—and I think he’s going to bring the best of of those guys to our team and with his own system that will envelop all of those guys,” said Dynamites president Dave Smith.
Bancks has worked with the Nitros before in the 1990s, back in their Junior A days, and Jeff Keiver, a former team captain under his tutelage who teaches in the school system, will be on the bench as an assistant.
Bancks, who teaches at Selkirk Secondary School, is also the head instructor of Alpine Hockey School, and played in the Western Hockey League with the Lethbridge Broncos from 1974-76. After his junior career, Bancks continued playing the game at the University of Calgary for four years while working on his post-secondary education.
“An extension of the school program is real good for me, that I don’t deal with any team stuff in the program, but now I can take it to that next level, so it was an extension for that,” said Bancks, “and then having spent the last three years with Kris and Ryan and TJ and Chad, I’ve learned a lot.”
Joining Bancks in the management side of things is Rick Allen, the former Nitro general manager who will help out behind the scenes.
“We see eye to eye on a lot of things so it should be fun,” Bancks said.
While he’s relishing the thought of coaching the game he loves to young pupils, he mentioned a deeper reason for putting his application forward.
“I know how important the Dynamiters are to this town. I know how important it is for local kids, in terms of their development,” said Bancks. “If you look at Sam Mellor, Matt Wilkins Carter [Bancks], Jace Coyle—all these kids—they all got their start with the Dynamiters, so I know how important it is and I’d like to be a part of it.”
The Nitros won’t be back on the ice until August for a summer camp, but registration is already online. The team also has Bull-a-Rama coming up in the first weekend of May.
The event, which is a fundraiser for the team, features bull riding, mutton busting, and a dance in the evening, featuring Ken McCoy, at the Kimberley Civic Centre.