Lakers coach ready to move up ranks

A year ago, the opportunity for Evan Marble to become the coach-general manager of the Penticton Lakers was too good to pass up.

Under the guidance of coach Evan Marble

Under the guidance of coach Evan Marble

A year ago, the opportunity for Evan Marble to become the coach-general manager of the Penticton Lakers was too good to pass up.

After guiding the Lakers to a 12-37-0-1 record and being swept by the Kootenay Internatioanl Junior Hockey League champion Osoyoos Coyotes in the first round, the Eston, Sask., native is ready to move on. Marble recently met with Okanagan Hockey Academy president Andy Oakes to inform him of the decision he made during spring break.

Marble chose to inform the Lakers now to give them time to recruit a replacement. Marble still views his opportunity as one few get. He enjoyed working with a young group (average age was 17) of players with desires of playing junior A or in the Western Hockey League.

“We had an uphill battle and that was definitely a challenge,” said Marble, a former assistant coach with the Westside Warriors. “Challenges are that which help you grow.”

And Marble feels he has grown as he also learned the business side. He expressed his appreciation to Oakes and the organization.

Oakes wasn’t surprised by the decision as both he and Marble have had several discussions since the season ended. Oakes plans to help Marble find a position in the BCHL or WHL. Oakes feels Marble can benefit from developing under more experienced coaches.

“He is likely ready to be a coach in the BCHL,” said Oakes. “The WHL is a different beast.”

The OHA president felt Marble was professional in his approach as the Lakers coach.

“He put in time and effort with the players,” said Oakes. “He had our team playing their best hockey at season’s end. We would have liked a better record, but we have players committing to higher levels (six joined BCHL teams at season’s end). It’s been a successful season for him and the players.”