Oct 16, 2012 / 5:41 pm
Gavin Lake wishes the Okanagan Sun nothing but the best of luck moving forward.
Lake made the comment Tuesday morning, a day after being fired as head coach of the BC Football Conference club.
"I would like to thank the Okanagan Sun for the opportunity. I wish them the very best in the future," says Lake.
"I loved the kids I was able to work within the short amount of time I had them."
Lake says his firing did not come as a major surprise.
"I wish I had an opportunity for the playoffs, I felt I earned a shot there. I understand if they wanted me to resign or get fired after the fact but it is what it is."
As for getting into specifics of why he was let go or reasons given to him, Lake says he didn't want to go down that road.
Ultimately the team was not performing under my leadership and they felt a change was necessary," says Lake.
The Sun finished the regular season Saturday with a dismal 48-6 drubbing at the hands of the Langley Rams to close out a forgettable 3-7 season.
Club President, Paul Carson, will take over the reigns of the club on a interim basis as it prepares for the BCFC semi-final Saturday in Nanaimo. Carson becomes the club's fifth head coach in five years.
Sun GM, Jay Christensen, says the 3-7 record was not the reason Lake was fired.
"I would say no he is not a scapegoat. That's why this decision was not based on results. He wasn't let go because we were 3-7. He wasn't let go because we lost a football game on Saturday," says Christensen.
"The deciding factor was the overall direction the football team was going not the record. It was a bunch of things, but the feeling on the team was it wasn't going in the right direction as we, as a board, wanted it to."
He says the decision was made by the Board of Directors at an emergency meeting following Saturday's debacle against Langley.
"There were definitely some players Saturday that didn't put forth their best effort. While that is something the players have to take ownership of, it reflects on the leadership of the team. There was concern if we went into Nanaimo with the same kind of effort, more people could get hurt."
Christensen says there was a lot of back and forth discussion because nobody really wanted to do what ultimately he says had to be done.
He adds it appears as if Lake lost the dressing room at some point during the season.
"That's what it looked like. I've had feedback from people within our organization who have talked to some of the players - it certainly looks that way."
As for the timing right before the playoffs, Christensen says there were indications several players may not be willing to return next season.
He says the move gives the organization an additional week to convey 'their message' to those players and get them excited about coming back.
"Things will be different next year."
The Sun will begin a search for their 14th head coach and sixth in six years once the current season is over.
Christensen says the organizations reputation has taken a bit of a hit over the past few years.
"It hurts us until we prove otherwise," says Christensen.
"We've got to get a guy in here that is a good communicator, passionate about the program and get that turned around."
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