Kelowna Rockets fire Adam Foote as head coach

Foote fired, new coach in

UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.

Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton says he believes interim head coach Kris Mallette will be the "new voice" the team needs. 

"I’ve got a lot of confidence in [Kris], I think he’s been a real student of the game, and he’s worked hard in the off-season. He’s done a lot of clinics and different coaching seminars so he’s up to date, and he’s also very current with this group of players because they all started under him. I just think he’ll do fine, I really do."

Hamilton says familiarity was taken into consideration in his decision, as bringing a new coach in from the outside "isn't the answer".

The decision to fire Foote was only made in the past week, says Hamilton, and he has been very impressed with how the former head coach has handled it. 

"I’ve had the opportunity to do this a few times when we’ve let people go and he was the most classy guy I’ve ever dealt with. He probably had a funny feeling something was up. He’s from the game, he knows the game and he knows the business of it, so he was great ... there's no fun in days like this." 

It's a bittersweet day for Mallette and his family, who have been working towards this goal for a long time but didn't see it happening like this.

"I really have a lot of respect for Adam, we’re really good friends too and that’s always the toughest part of the job."

He spoke with team captain Nolan Foote on the phone Wednesday morning, and says the league is dedicated to supporting him through a tough time. 

"It’s been a whirlwind to him over these last 72 hours. He was traded, he was injured, he came back, he tried to play for us, and then obviously with his father being let go, I just wanted to let him know that our first priority is to get him healthy.

"He is one of our best players, he is the captain of our team, so to get him healthy is the first priority for us. He’s going to be around and he’s going to be involved heavily in getting this group trending in the right direction, and he’s all aboard, but it’s a lot for him to go through, and understandably so." 

ORIGINAL: 12:15 p.m.

Adam Foote has been fired from his role as the head coach of the Kelowna Rockets.

Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton announced Wednesday that Foote is no longer head coach, effective immediately. 

"The team has struggled since the Christmas break. With fourteen games remaining in the regular season, I felt a change was necessary at this time," says Hamilton.

Assistant coach Kris Mallette has been named Kelowna's interim head coach. 

Foote was hired on Oct. 23, 2018, and had a record of 24-23-6-2 under his coaching last season. This year, Kelowna is 24-26-2-2. 

Mallette is currently in his fifth season as a member of the Rockets coaching staff.

He was hired as an assistant coach during the summer of 2014 and has primarily focused on the team's defensive units and penalty kill units.

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