Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ former head coach Matt Hughes waits for the action to start again after a whistle during a BC Hockey League game against Vernon Vipers in February 2018. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

BCHL: Bulldogs announce the departure of head coach Matt Hughes

Hughes led the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for two seasons

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have announced the resignation of head coach and general manager Matt Hughes.

Effective Thursday, March 21, Hughes resigned his position from the club “by mutual agreement,” according to a press release. Hughes was originally hired by the team in May 2017 after former head coach Kevin Willison was fired and guided the Bulldogs for two seasons. Hughes led the Bulldogs to a 17-32-5-4 record in his first season with the team and pushed the Victoria Grizzlies to seven games in the first round of the BCHL playoffs before losing the series.

In 2018-19, the team went 21-34-3-0 and was knocked out of the first round of the BCHL playoffs by the Victoria Grizzlies in four games.

“On behalf of the entire Bulldogs organization and the Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society, I’d like to thank Matt for his efforts on the ice, and in the community during his tenure with the club,” said Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society President Jim Pelk. “We had many exciting nights at the Multiplex over the past two years, and we wish Matt all the best in his future hockey endeavors.”

Hughes said that coaching the Alberni Valley Bulldogs has been an honour.

“I would like to thank the players, billets, fans and community as a whole for the warm welcome they have given me,” he said. “I wish the team full success in the future.”

The search for Hughes’s replacement is underway and the club hopes to name a new head coach and general manager in the coming days.

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