Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ingram Extended

(Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram)

It's a busy afternoon of Smokies news! I've just talked to Smokies President Tom Gawryletz and he let me know that the board has granted Coach and General Manager Jim Ingram a three year contract extension. Ingram's initial two year contract was set to run out at the end of this season, so the team acted fast in ensuring a longer term stay for their bench boss. Gawryletz told me that they were all very impressed with the end of last year, the way Ingram recruited and with the first half of this season. Both Ingram and the Smokies were looking for stability, and a three year term should ensure that.

It's not hard to see why the Smokies board would be pleased with the way this season has gone so far. After almost completely turning over the roster, Ingram has the team 9 games over .500 with the third best winning percentage in the Interior Conference (5th in the BCHL). He has a roster that could compete for a league championship this season, but one that also has the potential to see 16 players return next season and 9 players with at least two years of eligibility left.

We'll have Ingram as a guest on Mountain FM's Overtime tonight from 6pm to 9pm. Those are the new hours of the show as I'm now also hosting the afternoon drive from 3pm to 6pm.

Congratulations to one of the most genuinely good people in the BCHL. He's a class act, and with Ingram running things the Smoke Eaters will continue to be a classy, hard working team.

Of course the last time a Smokies coach signed an extension he was off to the WHL within weeks. Tim Kehler singed a two year contract with Trail right before he moved on to Swift Current as their assistant coach. I asked Ingram about that today and he said it's not even on his radar. His wife is happy here, his three children are happy here, he's happy here and the coach says he has a lot more to accomplish with the Smoke Eaters before even considering the idea of moving on.

I don't think there's any question that he'll one day get the opportunity, but for now Trail is lucky to have him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good move by the Smokies. One of the best coaches we've had in a while. He's producing some great results this year which will hopefully lead to a very long spring. Why this didn't receive front page coverage in the Trail Times is beyond me. They need to do a much better job supporting Greater Trail's premier sports team. Just my opinion.

Keep up the good work Shawn!