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Nanaimo Clippers extend Coaching Staff contracts through 2022-2023

Nanaimo Clippers extend Coaching Staff contracts through 2022-2023

Head Coach Darren Naylor and Associate Coach Colin Birkas received a much deserved two-year contract extension beginning for the 2021-2022 season. Darren Naylor has been the Head Coach of the Nanaimo Clippers since December 2017 whereas Colin Birkas came on the coaching staff as the Associate Coach for the 2019-2020. The coaching tandem has since guided the Nanaimo Clippers to a first-place regular-season finish in the Island Division during the 2019-2020 season while adding an undefeated playoff run which was interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdowns. In the 2020-2021 season, the coaching staff guided the Nanaimo Clippers to a first-place finish in the Island Cup during the Extended Training Season in the fall of 2020.

Wes Mussio, Owner of the Clippers, noted; “Darren and Colin have augmented each other nicely through two seasons now. Darren is more of an old-school hockey coach that expects a strong work ethic and a lot of grit from his players whereas Colin is more of a technical systems guy. The two have produced some top-end teams over the last two seasons and definitely deserve longer-term contracts as a reward for the excellent results.”

Darren Naylor explained; “Heading into the fourth season with the Nanaimo Clippers, I’m happy to get another opportunity to win a league championship and even the nationals. I really thought that the 2019-2020 season was going to be highly successful as we had compiled a great roster of players that gelled. We followed up the 2020-2021 season with an excellent team but unfortunately, Covid again got in the way of our pursuit of some championships. I’m happy to have two more years at a minimum to pursue my dream of winning it all.”

Colin Birkas added; “I’ve really enjoyed coming to the West Coast from Ontario. Darren and I have a great working relationship which made it easy for me to continue with the Clippers for at least another two seasons. I certainly could have moved on to a head coaching job in another Junior A league across Canada but I felt the best personal development is to remain in the BCHL with the Clippers. Simply put, I feel like we’ve got unfinished business here and I’m confident Darren and I can continue icing championship-style teams in the future with the Clippers.”