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

George Nielsen brings managerial experience to bid for Duncan councillor

Like others, I am concerned with the increase of homelessness and drugs within the Valley.

Bayview Place pullout a magnet for trouble, Maple Bay neighbours say

North Cowichan council forwards concerns to police

Getting along and information flow essentials for Area G director candidate

Jonas feels working productively together makes a better community

Affordable housing, fiscal responsiblity important to Duncan city council hopeful Carol Newington

I recognize the importance of keeping Duncan Green, Clean and Safe!

Safety, water concerns raised over rural North Cowichan road

Resident raises issues about Khenipsen Road

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

Most Read