Trail Smoke Eaters assistant coach, Craig Clare, has been named “Director of Hockey Operations” by Rich Murphy, new owner of the Smokie franchise. “I am very excited to take on this new role with the team and am looking forward to working with our coaches, volunteers, fans, and corporate sponsors to make our team one of the best in the BCHL.” “My goal is to work with the entire community to ensure the longevity of the team.”
Craig began his coaching career with the Smoke Eaters in 2013 and for two weeks of that season he and assistant coach Barry Zanier took over the reigns of Co-Coach/GM when the Smokie board searched for a new head coach. He has been with the team for the last 4 years.
Clare played for the Smokies in 1997/98, and 1998/99 and in 112 games had 50 goals and 37 assists for a total of 87 points. As a 20 year old he was traded to the Victoria Salsa and in 51 games scored 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points. Craig stated, “the trade was mutually agreed to as the Smokies were rebuilding and it gave Craig a chance to play on a playoff contender in his last season in the BCHL.” “It was difficult to leave the Smokies as they were a great organization to play for.”
Craig earned a scholarship to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in 2000/01 and played with the team for three years. In his tenure with SAIT he scored 48 goals and 50 assists for a total of 98 points in 70 games.
Craig earned a degree in Business Administration and has been working with Fortis BC, in Trail, for the last 13 years.
Owner, Rich Murphy, is excited to have Craig on board and felt it was imperative to have a local presence for the very important role of Director of Hockey Operations. In addition, the present board members of the Trail Smoke Eaters are as excited as Mr. Murphy to have Craig on board. Over the last four years Craig has juggled his time between Fortis and the Smoke Eaters and his hard work and dedication to the team and Fortis was unparallelled.
Craig will officially take over the reigns of the team on November 11. The present board will work with Craig to make the transition as smooth as possible.
On behalf of the present board members we wish Craig the best of luck in his new position as Director of Hockey Operations.