KELOWNA — The Kelowna Rockets have kept it in the family, hiring former player Kris Mallette as the new assistant coach for the 2014-2015 season.
Mallette is in his 5th year of coaching, making the jump from the BCHL, where he was associate head coach with the Vernon Vipers last season
The former Rocket defenseman played 152 games for the club from 1996-1999. He then went on to play a 9 year professional career before retiring due to injury.
“This is full circle for me. I got my start back in the old Memorial Arena. Once I got into coaching my ultimate goal was always to coach with the Rockets,” said Mallette. “It’s fantastic getting back to a team that has done so much for me.”
Mallette said he was always a student of the game, studying details and picking brains of former coaches to gain knowledge of the sport.
It is that knowledge that ensures Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton his new assistant coach will be a great addition to his staff.
“Kris has worked at every level to get himself where he is. It’s a lot different than when he played but he understands exactly what we are about and he understands what the expectations are to play here,” says Hamilton.
Mallette says it is a dream come true to be able to return to the Rockets organization, where the new coach had always dreamed of ending up and raising his family.