Photo: West Kelowna Warriors website. West Kelowna Warriors assistant coach Matt Miller.

West Kelowna Warriors coach is youngest in the league

Matt Miller is an assistant coach for the Warriors and is 20 years old

Matt Miller has always known what he wants to do with his career.

The Maple Ridge, B.C. native became involved in the coaching world of hockey at 13-years-old as a video coach with the Penticton Vees, and is now, at 20, the youngest coach in the BCHL as an assistant coach with the West Kelowna Warriors.

“I don’t get any slack (as a young coach),” said Miller.”I work as hard as I can and I do whatever I can to help our team.”

RELATED: West Kelowna Warriors host 8th annual Christmas hamper night

In a city where the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets dominate most of the hockey attention, the West Kelowna Warriors games still draw in decent sized crowds on weekdays and roaring crowds for weekend games. Warriors’ games may have a smaller venue than the Rockets, but Miller said they offer just as much to their fans — if not more.

“(The team) is good for the community, and the community is more involved with the team. I think the BCHL is a better league in general than the WHL,” said Terry Carlson, an avid Warriors fan, who attends most games. “The skating is better, as well as the skill level. I predict that in the next two years or so, this West Kelowna building will be more full than (Prospera Place). With more coverage, this league will just get better and better.”

Though the BCHL and WHL are different junior hockey leagues, Miller agrees that the BCHL is one of the best leagues in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The CJHL has 10 total leagues which feature 132 different teams — playing in the BCHL means playing against some of the best players and the best coaches in North America (there are five teams that play in the U.S.A).

RELATED: Lawrence Nagy returns to Sun as General Manager

“Every night, you can lose against any team,” said Miller. “With coaching, I just take it one step at a time. Getting prepared every night against a different team is the biggest challenge. But that’s the difficulty that comes with playing in the BCHL, which really is one of the best leagues in the country.”

The Warriors have been the centre of adversity since their new owner purchased them at the beginning of the season which led to drama Miller says the team tries to ignore.

“Our guys focus on playing the game. They take out all of the outside noise and focus on the game. Our head coach Geoff (Grimwood) has done a really good job to keep the drama away from the players.”

BCHL players can go on to play in various professional leagues including the NHL and universities. At the 2018 NHL draft, a record seven BCHL players were drafted by NHL teams, with the highest picked player going at No. 48. BCHL players are also scouted for university clubs and a few examples are West Kelowna Warriors’ players Willie Reim and Bennett Norlin who have committed to the U.S Air Force Academy hockey program.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Zero waste grocery store gives back to charity

Jaye Coward has pledged half of membership sales to Mamas for Mamas

Busy day for Penticton Search and Rescue

PENSAR was called to three separate incidents Sunday, Dec. 16

Kelowna Gospel Mission celebrates Grandpa Lloyd’s success

In a video it shares how an outreach worker helped get Lloyd off the streets

Warm weather ahead for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada says no snow at lower altitudes until Wednesday night

Central Okanagan Food Bank prepares to distribute holiday hampers

Staff and volunteers will have a busy week ahead of them

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Book Talk: Series stand outs

Novels in a great series can stand on their own

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

CSRD Wants help figuring out antique survey equipment

The piece of equipment was used by Peter Jennings to map out the North Fork Wild near Craigellachie

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

Most Read