Former Kootenay Ice head coach Luke Pierce looks into the distance during a 2016-17 practice. (Brad McLeod Photo)

Former Kootenay Ice head coach Luke Pierce looks into the distance during a 2016-17 practice. (Brad McLeod Photo)

Kootenay Ice dismiss head coach Luke Pierce, will not return for 2017-18

Organization thanks bench boss for two years of service, say they are committed to ‘fresh start’

Kootenay Ice President and General Manager Matt Cockell announced today through a press release that head coach Luke Pierce will not be returning as the team’s head coach for the 2017-18 season.

“The Ice would like to thank Luke for his dedication to the hockey club and the community over the past two seasons,” Cockell said in the release. “We are committed to a fresh start for the organization and this includes the business and hockey operations. We feel that this was a necessary decision to accomplish that objective.”

Pierce joined the Ice for the 2015-16 season after spending five seasons as the head coach and general manager of the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL. During his tenure with the Ice, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and finished in last place in the WHL in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 season.

Pierce is 33 years-old and formerly played in the KIJHL, BCHL and CIS. Earlier this summer he was named to the coaching staff of both the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2017 WHL US Prospects Camp.

Cockell also said in the release that the search for a new head coach will begin immediately and that no further comment would be provided.