Joe Martin was voted BCHL Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Joe Martin was voted BCHL Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni Valley Bulldogs hire BCHL Coach of the Year

Joe Martin spent four seasons as head coach for the Merritt Centennials

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have hired a new coach.

The organization announced on Monday, April 15 that former Merritt Centennials coach Joe Martin has been hired on a multi-year agreement to become the new Bulldogs’ general manager and head coach. Martin was also voted BCHL Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season.

Martin joins the Bulldogs after guiding the Merritt Centennials to an overall record of 36-15-4-3, landing his team second place overall in the Interior Division.

In four seasons as the Centennials’ general manager and head coach, Martin compiled an overall record of 106-97-21-3. In total, Martin spent eight seasons with the team, joining them as an assistant coach/general manager for the 2011-12 season before taking the reins in 2015.

Martin also served as the assisant coach for the past two Team Canada West clubs at the World Junior A Challenge.

“Our family is excited to be moving to the city of Port Alberni and to join the Alberni Valley Bulldogs,” said Martin in a release. “Every time I’ve coached in the Weyerhaeuser Arena, I’ve always been impressed with the hometown presence. It’s a loud building with fantastic ice—arguably the best in the BCHL.”

He added that he looks forward to bringing an “entertaining brand” of hockey to the Alberni Valley and continuing to help young athletes improve.

“Having Joe Martin join us in Port Alberni is a major win for our program,” said business manager David Michaud. “I’ve seen first-hand during my time in Penticton the type of teams Joe Martin can deploy. Joe has also demonstrated an ability to move his athletes on to the next level. Our club is very lucky to have Joe and his family join us in our pursuit of becoming an elite program in the BCHL.”

Martin joins the team after former coach and general manager Matt Hughes announced his resignation last month.