The Vernon Vipers went back to the future for their new head coach and director of hockey operations.
Mark Ferner, who guided the Vipers to back-to-back Royal Bank wins in 2009-10, left the WHL Kamloops Blazers as an associate coach to take the position.
Said Viper president and governor Duncan Wray: “After reviewing several extremely well qualified candidates, the file that kept coming up to the top of the pile was Mark’s. He is familiar with the organization, has worked closely with both Todd Miller and Kevin Kraus and will therefore fit seamlessly into the program. I am very pleased to welcome Mark back into the fold, and I look forward to working with him again”
Speculation of a second stint in Vernon — where Ferner led the Vipers to three consecutive B.C. Hockey League championships and two consecutive national junior A championships between 2007 and 2011 — began on Sept. 8 when Jason Williamson vacated his post as bench boss and GM of the Snakes, citing personal reasons.
“Their [the Vipers] owner [Duncan Wray] called me and asked permission to talk to Mark about 10 days ago,” Blazers’ GM Craig Bonner told Kamloops This Week on Monday.
“I never really heard anything about it until yesterday. They offered the job and he was interested. His house and family are in Vernon.”
Ferner, hired as head coach of the Everett Silvertips in July of 2011 and fired in January of 2013, joined the Blazers as an associate coach in August 2013.