(Windsor) Earlier today, at a press conference conducted at the WFCU Centre, Windsor Spitfires Vice-President and General Manager Warren Rychel announced that current Windsor Spitfires President and Head Coach Bob Boughner will be relinquishing his Spitfire head coaching and Team Canada World Junior Under-20 assistant coaching duties to serve as an Assistant Coach with the NHL??s Columbus Blue Jackets. Rychel also announced that the Windsor Spitfires have appointed Bob Jones, Associate Coach of the Windsor Spitfires for the past three seasons, as the team??s new Head Coach and that D.J. Smith will be promoted to the position of Associate Coach. Smith has served as an Assistant Coach with the Spitfires for the past six seasons.
??On behalf of the entire Windsor Spitfires organization and on a personal level, I wish Bob Boughner the very best as he moves on to work with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Four years ago, when Bob, Peter Dobrich and I purchased the team, our goal was to rebuild the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club into a perennial contender and championship team. Bob??s hard work, vision and desire helped us achieve our goals, and he has been successful in helping us secure two MasterCard Memorial Cup and Rogers OHL Championships. Bob is very deserving of his new position with the Blue Jackets and has achieved the pinnacle of success in every way imaginable at the junior hockey level. Through today??s announcement, we also have a stable, proven and experienced staff to lead us in the future with Bob Jones being promoted to our head coaching position and with D.J. Smith moving up to fill Associate Coach role. I have confidence and faith in the abilities of Bob Jones and D.J Smith and will look for both to continue to lead the team as Bob Boughner had done in his four years of service to the Windsor Spitfires organization,? said Warren Rychel.
During his four seasons as Head Coach of the Windsor Spitfires, Boughner led the team to successes unparalleled in Spitfire history, culminating in consecutive MasterCard Memorial Cup and Rogers OHL Championships achieved during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. During Boughner??s tenure as Head Coach, the Spitfires also posted an impressive 166-80-26 regular season record along with the team??s two best regular season finishes in team history, a 57 win and 115 point season in 2008-2009 as well as a 50 win and 106 point performance in 2009-2010. This was the first time in team history that the Spitfires have posted consecutive 50 win and 100+ point seasons. Furthermore, the 2008-2009 Spitfire squad also won the Hamilton Spectator trophy, as they secured an OHL regular season championship for the second time in Spitfire history.
Boughner also earned two consecutive CHL and OHL Coach of the Year awards in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 campaigns. With these honours, Boughner became the first Head Coach in CHL history to have won two CHL Coach of the Year and MasterCard Memorial Cup championships. He also served as the Head Coach of Team Canada??s Under-18 National squad and led them to a perfect 4-0 record and the gold medal at the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic. Boughner was also behind the bench as the Head Coach of the Western Conference All-Star team at the 2009 Subway OHL All-Star Classic hosted by the Spitfires and as an Assistant Coach with Team Orr in the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which was also conducted in Windsor.
Bob Boughner offered the following on today??s announcement, ??it??s a bittersweet day for me, both professionally and personally. I am excited to join the Columbus Blue Jackets as an Assistant Coach with their organization but I have also been blessed and honoured to have helped lead the Windsor Spitfires in achieving the goals that Warren, Peter and I set out four years ago when we purchased the team. My experience and successes earned as Head Coach of the Windsor Spitfires have provided me with the opportunity to join Columbus. I am grateful for everything that I have learned and the knowledge that I have acquired from being behind the bench in Windsor. I would also like to thank the Windsor Spitfires fans, the best fans in the CHL for their support. It has truly been a privilege to coach the Windsor Spitfires in such a great hockey town.?
Bob Jones will be in his fourth season behind the bench with the Spitfires and his first as the team??s Head Coach. Jones?? hockey expertise was instrumental in Windsor??s successes enjoyed during the past three seasons. Prior to joining the Spitfires, he served as an Assistant Coach with the Sudbury Wolves from 2004-2007 and helped guide the Wolves to the OHL Eastern Conference Championship and a berth in the OHL Championship series in 2007.
Jones has a wealth of coaching experience in the OHL ranks, as he also served as an Associate Coach and Assistant Director of Hockey Operations with the Toronto St. Michael??s Majors from 2000-2004, as an Assistant Coach with the Brampton Battalion for the 1999-2000 campaign and started his coaching career as an Assistant Coach with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from 1995-1998. On the international stage, Jones led Team Ontario??s Under-17 team to a gold medal performance at the 2004 World Junior Hockey Championships.
??I would like to thank the Windsor Spitfires and more specifically Bob Boughner and Warren Rychel for providing me with the opportunity to serve as the team??s new Head Coach,? said newly appointed Spitfire Head Coach Bob Jones, ??We will miss Bob as he joins the Blue Jackets organization but I feel as though my experience and knowledge in working as a coach for over a decade in the OHL will enable me to help lead the Windsor Spitfires to continued success in the upcoming seasons. I also look forward to working with D.J. Smith in his new position as Associate Coach of the Windsor Spitfires and to developing more quality junior aged hockey players and young men as part of the Spitfire organization.?
D.J. Smith will be in his seventh season behind the bench with the Spitfires and his first as the team??s Associate Coach. D.J. worked in his six previous seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Spitfires and has been a key part of Windsor??s improvement since joining the team behind the bench in 2004. A former captain and alumnus of the Spitfires, Smith played in Windsor for his entire junior hockey career from 1994-1997.