Kelowna Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton is pleased to announce that the Rockets have hired Brad Ralph as the organization’s new head coach, signing him to a three year contract.
Ralph, 34, was the head coach of the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads for the past three seasons and will be the ninth head coach in Kelowna Rockets history.
“We’re really excited,” said Hamilton. “Brad has a tremendous coaching record. I believe we found someone who fits in with the culture we have here. He fully understands what we expect as an organization. This has been a process that we would have liked to have moved quicker but we feel Brad is an excellent fit for the organization.”
Last season Ralph was a finalist for ECHL Coach of the Year after compiling a 48-18-6 record and winning the ECHL Pacific Division with the Steelheads. Over a five year coaching career, Ralph has posted a 203-98-27 record, spending three years in Idaho and two more in Augusta (SPHL) where he was 2011 SPHL Coach of the Year.
“It’s an honour to coach the Kelowna Rockets and I’m excited to get to know the players and the organization,” said Ralph. “The Rockets have a great tradition of winning and I’m looking forward to learning why this team has been so successful over the years. I think there is a great group of players coming back here and I’m excited to guide them back to where they were last year.”
A native of Richmond, ON, Ralph played junior hockey for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals before being drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes. Over an eight year professional career, Ralph played over 450 professional games (North America and Europe) and was team captain on four of the nine teams he played on.
Ralph joins current Rockets assistant coaches Kris Mallette and Travis Crickard on the Rockets bench for the coming season