Tennesseein’ is believin’ – Border Bruins hire new coach/GM from Knoxville Ice Bears

The Grand Forks Border Bruins have hired a new head coach and general manager (GM).

New Bruins coach Kevin Flather during his playing days with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

The Grand Forks Border Bruins have hired a new head coach and general manager (GM). Former university player and professional trainer Kevin Flather has been hired by the team to take over coaching and GM duties. Flather, who hails from Surrey, was hired Nov. 7, but was unable to take over head coaching duties until Saturday’s game in Creston Valley.Board member and assistant coach Matt Zamec said the team was fortunate to be able to find a qualified coach and GM this late into the season.“He runs a conditioning and shooting/skating mechanic camp in the summer,” said Zamec. “One of our players, Corey Munro, worked with him last summer. When Nick (Deschenes) left, it was Corey’s dad who actually called up Kevin, who had just retired from professional hockey and told him there was a job opening here. He got a hold of us. The boys like him, we liked him, so we offered him the position.”Zamec said the board was not actively pursuing a coach but were pleased to receive an application from a coach with a background similar to former coach Nick Deschenes.“The situation were in – there’s not many coaches floating around halfway through the season,” said Zamec. “It was important for us, if we get someone in here, they have to have a strong personality, a positive attitude, and come in here and tread gently given that everything is already in place here and running smoothly. We don’t need a lot of changes here. We want someone to come in and take over the ship and stay the course.”Zamec said with the board in place and himself and assistant coach Doreen Sheets, the Bruins could finish the season as is.“We thought if the right person came along, we’d consider it,” he said. “Kevin came and met with us. He’s young like Nick. He played university hockey. He played professional hockey. It’s one of those crazy things that fell into place unexpectedly. We were a little down about Nick’s departure, but now we’re really excited about having Kevin.”

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