Former Merrimack forward Clayton Jardine has been named the head coach of the Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL), taking over for longtime head coach Boris Rybalka, who was at the helm for 20 years.
Jardine is a former Kodiak player, helping the organization win two RBC Cups.
This past season, Jardine was named the SJHL Coach of the Year after leading the Kindersley Klippers; he also has coached in the college ranks as an assistant at New England College.
“I have learned so much in my four years of coaching and I am very grateful for my time in Kindersley and at New England College, that has led me here,” Jardine said. “I look forward to reconnecting with old faces, and becoming a part of the community.
“I am honored to be the second head coach in the past 21 years, and I am very aware of the responsibility that comes with the title. I am excited to start filling the big shoes behind the bench and continuing to grow the culture that has been established in Camrose since 2000.”
Rybalka will remain with the organization as general manager and associate coach.
“I would like to thank Boris for trusting me with the job and I look forward to working along side him daily,” Jardine said.
Added Rybalka, “It has been a great 20 years as head coach and winning a National Championship in 2001 but today is a great day as a new era begins! We have hand picked Clayton to be our new head coach of the Camrose Kodiaks. I am extremely excited to have Clayton as our first head coach since 2001. He is loyal, trustworthy and a great communicator and teacher of the game of hockey.
“Clayton is going to be very successful as a coach and I will be sharing all of my knowledge with him to make him the best. I will continue as GM and stay on as an associate coach to have stability as we develop and mentor our assistant coaches. Clayton knows what it is to be a Kodiak as he came to us as a 16 year old and became our captain and led us to two RBC Cup appearances. … I could not be more ecstatic that he is here.”