Fernie Ghostriders head coach Jeff Wagner has committed to two more years with the team. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Fernie Ghostriders coach departs: Wagner moves to Coquitlam

Jeff Wagner will move to the Lower Mainland as associate coach and director of scouting with the Coquitlam Express

Fernie Ghostriders head coach, Jeff Wagner will be departing the local team.

Wagner, who has been head coach and general manager for the last three years has accepted a position as associate coach and director of scouting with the Coquitlam Express junior A hockey team in the BCHL.

In a release, team president Barb Anderson thanked Wagner for his time with the Ghostriders.

“During the three years Jeff has been with the Fernie Ghostriders, he has a positive impact on our program and was always up for a challenge.

“The first year Jeff helped our team through the challenges of re-entry to the Fernie Memorial after the devastating ammonia leak in 2017 which took the lives of three beloved individuals, and then through the COVID year which saw many challenges. Jeff took all challenges on with ease and professionalism,” she said.

“We are extremely proud of what Jeff has done for our team, moving forward with the program we had envisioned. We are even more proud that Jeff now has developed his skills to move to the BCHL with the Coquitlam Express.”

Wagner came to Fernie in 2018, having previously been the assistant general manager of the Creston Valley Thundercats. After only nine months with the Ghostriders, he was signed on for an additional two years, with Anderson saying at the time that Wagner had what it took to lead the team.

Reflecting on his next move, Wagner said it had been a great opportunity to coach in Fernie, and thanked Anderson and the Ghostriders board.

”My fiance and I fell in love with the town and the organization and the support we received throughout our time will always be a highlight for us,” he said.

“I look forward to the next chapter in my coaching career, but would not have this opportunity without the Ghostriders. I’d also like to thank the volunteers, our coaching staff and our players for their dedication. This is a first class organization and I am proud to have been a part of it.”

After the team played three games last year, the 2020-2021 KIJHL season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning Wagner saw off the Ghostriders team back in February when team members departed.

READ MORE: Disappointing end to a cancelled season, but high hopes: Ghostriders coach

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