The Chilliwack Chiefs are proud to announce that Associate Coach and Assistant General Manager Brad Rihela has been named Head Coach of the Lloydminster Bobcats in the AJHL.
“I want to thank the entire Chilliwack Chiefs organization for everything they have done for my family and me over the years. It has been an amazing experience from start to finish. I will always be grateful for my time in Chilliwack and the people I was so fortunate to work with every day,” said Rihela. “The Chiefs are a first-class organization and I wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”
After winning multiple titles as a Head Coach in both the PJHL and CSSHL, Rihela joined the Chiefs in the 2018/19 season as an Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development. Over his five seasons with the team, he moved into the role of Associate Coach and Assistant GM.
“It’s a bittersweet day for the Chiefs. First, we want to congratulate Brad on his new position with the Bobcats. Lloydminster is getting a good one,” said Chiefs Head Coach and GM Brian Maloney. “Brad is someone who works extremely hard in the areas that he excels in while also being eager to learn in all other areas. Throughout his time with the Chiefs, Brad has been asked to take on a large variety of tasks and never once batted an eye when asked to do so. He’s also loyal to his core.”
Along with running the blue line for the Chiefs, Coach Rihela also oversaw the team’s summer development camps and the Junior Chiefs’ spring hockey program.
“The time has come for Brad to continue his growth and development as a coach, no different than the players that come through our organization. This a great opportunity for him to continue to carve out his path as a hockey coach,” said Maloney.
Beyond his work with the Chiefs, Rihela was also a beloved member of the minor hockey community in Chilliwack. During the past three seasons, he served as Head of Player and Coach Development for the Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association. Just this past month, Rihela won the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s John Ptucha Coaching Development Award.
“Thank you to our community and fans for their unbelievable support. There was no better feeling than seeing all of our fans at the Coliseum or with us on the road. It is a special place to work and the fans and community are a big reason for that,” said Rihela.
While Rihela will be greatly missed by the community, Chiefs staff, and players, it is safe to say that Chilliwack will continue to cheer him on.
“Thank you Brad for everything you’ve done, not only for our organization but for the community of Chilliwack. We wish you, Natasha, and the boys all the best in your new adventure. We know you’ll make us proud,” said Maloney.