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KIJHL announces Jeff Dubois as new Commissioner

Former Selkirk Saints head coach Jeff Dubois will take over from acting Commissioner Larry Martel May 1. — Submitted photo

By Emanuel Sequeira, KIJHL Communications Manager

Jeff Dubois has been hired as the new Commissioner for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), the league announced today.

Dubois will succeed Larry Martel, who will continue in his duties through the conclusion of the 2020 Cyclone Taylor Cup in 100 Mile House. Dubois will take over the position on May 1, allowing for a smooth and successful transition into the position.

“I’m thrilled to return to the KIJHL in a new role and to help lead the league during a key phase in its growth and development,” says Dubois. “Having worked in the KIJHL at the team level, I’ve seen the important role that our teams play in their communities and the passion of our fans. I’m excited to work with a committed and talented group of staff and volunteers to make sure their programs succeed on and off the ice.”

Dubois spent three seasons as head coach and general manager in the KIJHL with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. In 2017, he was named the league’s Coach of the Year after leading the Thunder Cats to a bronze medal at the Cyclone Taylor Cup.

 In 2016, he was named to the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League’s (BCIHL) All Decade Team in the Builder category after leading the Selkirk Saints to three league titles as head coach of the Castlegar-based hockey team.

In his role as commissioner, Dubois will oversee the KIJHL’s business and hockey operations. He brings an extensive background in junior hockey, having served as director of communications with the British Columbia Hockey League from 2007-2010 and in coaching and management roles with Selkirk College (BCIHL), the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL) and more recently the Comox Valley Glacier Kings in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

“Jeff Dubois is a very good fit for the KIJHL,” says league chairman Tom Bachynski. “He knows the league, most of the partners and brings with him a great amount of knowledge and experience from his time in the BCHL.”

Bachynski added as the KIJHL continues to transition, having Jeff aboard will be a great asset. The league will also be looking to keep Martel in a different capacity that helps the KIJHL in new directions.

Martel was named the KIJHL’s commissioner on an interim basis in June 2018 following the retirement of longtime league president Bill Ohlhausen. Previously, Martel served as vice-president of the Neil Murdoch Division from 2015-17 and the Doug Birks Division from 2017-19.

“Larry has done an excellent job for us. Taking on the presidency two years ago was huge for the league and then to be the interim commissioner for this season,” says Bachynski. “Transitioning the league to a new governance model is a challenge in itself and Larry has been instrumental in making the transition happen.”

“I would like to thank the league governors, team personnel and board of directors for all their support and help in getting Jeff Dubois on board and all the new business practices in place,” says Martel. “This has been a three-year process of restructuring that will see Mr. Dubois continue to advance and tweak. We have seen huge growth in our on-ice product as we attract players from all over Canada to our brand of exciting hockey. The KIJHL knew we needed to stay on a path to greater financial stability and business leadership to continue this growth in our markets. I'll move myself onto the checking line now and help wherever it's needed going forward.”

The KIJHL playoffs begin on Friday, February 28th as 16 teams battle for the Teck Cup as league champions and a place in the 2020 Cyclone Taylor Cup in 100 Mile House beginning April 16th.