Powell River Kings general manager and head coach Tyler Kuntz has parted ways with the hockey club. He had been in the roles for the past two seasons.
“I have decided I need to do what is best for my family,” stated Kuntz in a media release. “These past couple of years have taken a toll, and as much as I love the organization, the players and the City of Powell River, it just isn’t feasible to continue to commute to see my young family.
“I would like to thank the players, the staff, the amazing fans and sponsors, as well as the organization, for an amazing two years and I want to wish everyone much success moving forward.”
With the departure of Kuntz, Brock Sawyer has accepted the role of head coach and director of hockey operations. Sawyer has been with the Kings for the past six seasons, starting as a volunteer assistant coach, then assistant coach and interim head coach. He coached the team to a Vancouver Island Division championship in 2018, advancing to round three of the BC Hockey League playoffs. Sawyer served as associate general manager and associate coach for the past two seasons.
Prior to getting into coaching, Sawyer was a member of the Kings from 2006 to 2008, then played NCAA Division III hockey at Elmira College. After graduating, he played professionally for Fayetteville FireAntz and Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Sawyer’s knowledge of the game, along with years of experience, will bring continuity moving forward, according to the club.
“In the up and coming challenging times, it was our decision not to make any drastic changes and keep the continuity of our organization by building from within,” stated Kings’ president Rob Villani. “Brock knows what the organization expects from him, as the head coach, and we have full confidence that Brock can take us to the next level with his knowledge he has gained from working with Tyler over the past two seasons.”
Sawyer stated that he is excited for the board’s trust in appointing him as head coach and director of hockey operations.
“I look forward to building a successful team for our community,” he added. “When we get through the pandemic, I look forward to meeting our sponsors, our season ticket holders and fans who are loyal and supportive of our efforts.”