Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Truitt Talks About Moving to Pro's

It pains me to say today that Jeff Truitt is no longer the coach of the Kelowna Rockets. I knew this day was coming, and I let it out of the bag as quietly as I could on this blog a few days ago with a post about two openings in the American Hockey League that SOME WHL coaches may be interested in.

This is the transcript of the interview I had with Truitt this afternoon.

Your thoughts on leaving the Rockets after 7 seasons?

"I have mixed emotion because I am leaving a quality organization. The way we have been treated by Bruce Hamilton and everyone in the Rockets organization has been second to none. But in saying that, we are excited about the challenge ahead and moving up to a new level".

What is it going to be like coaching pro players after spending so many years in junior?

There is always going to be an adaptation to the players your coaching, but coaching is coaching. No matter if your coaching little guys, major junior or pro's, you need to know your players and find out what makes them tick, and make them better. But at the pro level, they are more mature as they want to make it to the next level, so your player management has to be good".

You've been a head coach for the last three years, what will it be like to get back to an assistant coaching role for you?

"I think at the next level it's wise to sit back a little, learn the ropes and find out what it's all about. It's a position I am familiar with, it's nothing new to me, and I am looking forward to developing players and being a part of that."

Jeff, what is the highlight of your time as a head coach with the Rockets?

"Winning the WHL title in Brandon and the Memorial Cup in London will always be a highlight for me. Even though we didn't preform well there, it was a thrill to see the work we did over the season pay off, and got the guys to the pinnacle of the season."

Truitt will leave for his new post in the first week of August.

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