Jun 21, 2012 / 5:00 am
Courtesy of Fraser Rodgers:
Fred Harbinson isn't going anywhere.
Harbinson and the Vees have come to terms on a five-year contract extension that will see him remain behind the bench through the 2018-2019 season.
In his fifth season as the Vees head coach & GM, Harbinson led the team to their best season in franchise history.
The Vees set a new BCHL record in wins (54), points (110) and winning percentage (.917).
They won the Interior Conference Championship, the Fred Page Cup, the Doyle Cup and the national Jr. ‘A’ championship, the RBC Cup.
Harbinson sits second in both franchise wins (217) and winning percentage (.760). Since taking the helm, Harbinson has amassed a 217-61-5-17 record, best amongst any team in the BCHL in the past five years.
“We asked Fred to produce the top Jr. ‘A’ program in the country, and he did it in three years and our goal to continue this success for years to come," says Vees owner Graham Fraser.
"We’ve also strived to have the community of Penticton rally behind the Vees and let them know this is their team and to be proud about that. The program Fred has built goes along way and obtaining these goals.”
Vees President Frank Darin applauded the work Harbinson has put into the team,
“We’re very proud of Coach Harbinson’s amazing accomplishments over his five seasons in charge of our program. Fred has helped bring the Vees, the BCHL and Jr. ‘A’ hockey unprecedented national exposure," says Darin.
"Along with guiding our program to the most successful season in franchise history, he continues to be a leader in player development for the NCAA, WHL and the NHL. As an ownership group we were aware of the constant concern from our fan base and prospective recruits, as to if or when coach Harbinson would move on to another challenge."
Darin says the investment in Harbinson not only made it easy for him to walk away from other offers but should speak to the community of Penticton, and how committed we are to bring forth the best junior hockey team in North America.
Harbinson thanked the ownership group for the loyalty and commitment they have shown him over the last five years.
"I also want to thank my Assistant Coaches who will be returning as well; Mike Hengen, Steve Cawley and Matt Sells. Without their tireless work ethic we would not be able to run our program at the level we currently do, says Harbinson.
"There are many factors that create movement in the coaching profession, stability, financial, community, family and chasing the dream of coaching pro hockey. My family and I love the passion in the city of Penticton directed towards the Vees, and we have developed great relationships during our time here."
He says ownership eliminated any reason for him to field offers from other organizations.
"My focus moving forward is simple; I’m committed to the challenges of keeping the Penticton Vees as one of the premier player developmental grounds in all of junior hockey.”
Harbinson is the second winningest coach in Vees history and also owns the second best winning percentage.
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