Mike Vandekamp has been announced as the new head coach of the Cowichan Valley Capitals. (Black Press photo)

Capitals name Mike Vandekamp head coach

Former Nanaimo bench boss replaces Brian Passmore

The Cowichan Valley Capitals have a new face behind the bench.

Mike Vandekamp has been hired as the new head coach and general manager of the B.C. Hockey League team after Brian Passmore was let go following one season in the position.

Vandekamp has 23 seasons of experience coaching junior hockey in the BCHL, Western Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League, for a total of 1,475 games. He most recently spent seven seasons coaching the Nanaimo Clippers before he was fired last December by the Nanaimo club’s new ownership.

Capitals owner Ray Zhang is looking forward to seeing Vandekamp in his new role.

“Mike’s goal is to improve the Capitals both on and off the ice,” Zhang said.

Vandekamp is excited about his new opportunity.

“I’ve always loved this rink,” he said. “We are going to do everything we can to make it the toughest rink to play in as a visiting team and a place where the fans can come and be proud of their local team’s effort every night.”

Vandekamp has been married to his wife, Lana, for 17 years. The couple has two children: Carter, who is about to turn 15, and Katie who is turning 13. Lana volunteered many hours with the Clippers, helping with Parents Weekend and social functions.

Vandekamp is taking over immediately as GM and head coach. He is the Capitals’ third head coach since Zhang bought the team in 2016.

Passmore, who was hired by the team late last summer, will remain with the organization in a hockey development capacity, working with the U16 program and other youth hockey initiatives. Since the end of the regular season, Passmore has been busy recruiting players across Canada and the U.S. for the 2018-19 season.

In Passmore’s lone season with the Caps, Cowichan was the only team in the BCHL to miss the playoffs, finishing last in the Island Division with 10 wins, 41 losses, five overtime losses and two ties. Two players, forward Ty Pochipinski and defenceman Simon Chen — Zhang’s son — picked up NCAA Div. I scholarships.

Passmore said he understands that hockey is a business and he is fine with the decision.

“We were trying to build a good team here,” Passmore said. “I was hoping to get a chance to make it my team and turn it around. I care about the town and the team.”

Just Posted

Huge lineup of international and First Nations acts coming for Islands Folk Festival

From Begonia and Alex Wells to Fränder and The Unfaithful Servants, you’ll love Folkfest 2018

Former Capitals invited to NHL development camps

Three ex-BCHL players join Duncan product at summer training sessions

Cowichan papers are national award winners

Reporter Sarah Simpson was recognized twice for her efforts

Drought alert posted for Koksilah and Chemainus Rivers

Around the Cowichan region hot, dry weather is drying up tributary streams as well

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face Cowichan challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and even ate blueberry pie on Day 3

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Most Read