Don Hay is returning to the Kamloops Blazers for a third stint behind the bench.
The former head coach of the Western Hockey league club has been hired as an associate coach for the upcoming season.
Hay rejoins the Blazers after spending the past four seasons as an assistant and associate coach with the Portland Winterhawks, a position he took after leaving the Blazers as head coach in 2018.
Hay started his coaching career as an assistant coach with his hometown Blazers in 1985, a position he held until 1992, when he was named head coach of the team, where he remained until 1995, winning two Memorial Cups as head coach and a third title as an assistant. Hay has also coached for Calgary, Phoenix and Anaheim in the NHL, for Utah in the AHL and spent 10 seasons at the helm of the Vancouver Giants, where he won a fourth Memorial Cup. He returned to Kamloops from 2014 to 2018 as head coach.
“We are thrilled to welcome Don back to the hockey club,” Blazers’ general manager and head coach Shaun Clouston said in a statement. “Don has a wealth of knowledge and experience in our league. We believe he will be a positive contributor to our team as we continue to build on our recent success over the past few seasons.”
Hay is the winningest coach in WHL history, with 750 career victories and and seven league championships.
The Blazers have also extended the contract of Clouston, who has been head coach since 2019 and took on the dual role of coach/GM in the summer of 2021. He has a record of 107-39-6-1 over three seasons with the Blazers, with the team winning the BC Division title in each of those three seasons.
Clouston has 498 career WHL wins as a head coach, which is first among all active WHL coaches.