Rick Schievink is back with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, but this time he is not behind the bench.
Schievink on Wednesday was named the team’s director of hockey operations, completing a move by owners Okanagan Hockey School to put a “local” management team in place.
For the past five years, Andy Oakes of Okanagan Hockey School has been the team’s president, and operated the team remotely from Penticton. Oakes and the rest of the ownership group—which includes the See Group of Companies and Dave Ness in Port Alberni—decided next season will be different.
Schievink rounds out the rest of the existing localized management structure, which includes Paul Esdale as head coach and general manager, Ron Paulson as director of business operations and Tom McEvay as education advisor.
Schievink said he is excited to be back with the Bulldogs.
“The decision to join this management team, in the end, was an easy one,” Schievink said.
“It’s always been clear to me that the franchise has always been an important part of the fabric of our community, and I strongly believe this team belongs in the Alberni Valley for the long term.”
Schievink was born and raised in the Alberni Valley. He started playing hockey early the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association and played in the rep program as one of the original Timbermen. He played Junior A hockey in Kelowna and Junior B in Victoria, then played in Europe for Nijmegen (Holland First Division).
Schievink’s hockey administration career began 20 years ago at the minor hockey level and has progressed through B.C. hockey as well as Hockey Canada’s High Performance programs and Junior A. He was an assistant coach with the Bulldogs for three seasons and provided colour commentary for PEAK FM radio and online broadcasts of the Bulldogs’ games.
Schievink will take over the day-to-day monitoring of the head coach and other hockey operations, team president Andy Oakes said.