COACHING & TRAINING STAFF
Jeff Tambellini | GM & Head Coach
Jeff has been the Trail Smoke Eaters General Manager and Head Coach since the 2018-19 season.
Tambellini came to Trail after spending the 2017/18 season behind the bench as the assistant coach with the University of Michigan Wolverines, advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four National Championship tournament for the first time since 2011.
Prior to his coaching career, Tambellini played in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs for two seasons, amassing 67 goals and 168 points over his 88 career games including being the league's leading scorer as well as BCHL MVP after the 2000/2001 season en route to an appearance in the RBC Cup Championship, earning tournament leading scorer and MVP honours as well as being named Canadian Junior 'A' Player of the Year.
Tambellini went on to a three-year career at the University of Michigan, collecting 149 points in 129 games during his NCAA play and picking up All-American honours from 2002 -2005 before playing in 242 games in the National Hockey League spanning between three teams in the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks. The Calgary, Alberta native played with the Canucks during their impressive run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
Tambellini continued with a strong career in Europe, winning championships in both Switzerland (2012) and Sweden (2015) before getting started behind the bench.
Jeff Urekar | Assistant General Manager
Urekar comes to Trail after completing his first season as the Head Coach of the Vancouver North East Chiefs of the BC Major Midget League, taking his team to the second round of the playoffs after a 3rdplace finish in the regular season. The 2018/19 season capped off Urekar’s fifth season with the Chiefs while also serving as a scout for the Smoke Eaters throughout the year.
Dustin Korlak | Assistant Coach
Before joining the MJHL as a coach, Dustin was a defenseman in the MJHL from 2006-2010, making stops with Southeast, Swan Valley and Selkirk. Following his junior career, Dustin signed overseas to play professional hockey in Germany (Hannover, Adendorf), and Netherlands (Turnhout) from 2010-2012.
Korlak also adds a wealth of scouting and recruitment experience, having worked as a scout with ISS Hockey and for Gold Star Sports Management Group as a regional scout. Additionally, Dustin is currently a Western Canadian Pro Scout for the Coventry Blaze in the EIHL, a professional team in the UK.
Barry Zanier | Assistant Coach
Zanier, a teacher at Rossland Summit School, served as Smokies assistant coach on a part-time basis for 11 seasons before committing full time in 2013, due to a combination of an accommodating school board and fewer week-day games scheduled by the BCHL.
Before joining the Smoke Eaters, Zanier coached at the pee-wee and bantam level in the Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association, and served as player-coach with the Senior Smoke Eaters during the 1980s. As a player, Zanier skated with the junior and senior Smokies as well as the UBC Thunderbirds.
Barry understands what it takes to win at the BCHL level and will help ensure we get the most out of our players this season.
Bobby-Jean Leier | Athletic Trainer
Bobby is a Kinesiologist, majoring in Human Kinetics. She obtained her degree in her hometown at the University of Regina. While studying in Regina, she had the privilege of spending two seasons with the University of Regina Rams Football Club, gaining a wealth of knowledge from her Sport Physio superiors. It was then that the opportunity to work in junior hockey and lacrosse came and she never looked back. Bobby is in her second season with the Trail Smoke Eaters.
Sean Murray | Goaltending Coach
Murray joins the organization after instructing young goaltenders for 20 years and brings plenty of experience to the Smoke Eaters. Originally founding Pro-Formance Goalie School and Development Centre, Murray has worked with such goaltenders as Brad Theissen and Martin Jones who have moved on to very successful NHL careers. Murray most recently served as the goaltending consultant for the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants and University of British Columbia Thunderbirds while also serving as a goaltending coach for the Prince George Cougars for two seasons and has experience in the BCHL as an assistant coach with the Surrey Eagles in the 2000/01 season.
Frenchie Boisvert | Assistant Trainer
Rob Stroud | Assistant Trainer
Dave Abenante | Physiotherapist
Chad Brandt | Nutritionist
Brandon Kaleniecki (United States)
Derek Sanders (British Columbia)
Art Hanson (Alberta)
Justin Van Parys (Alberta)