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Wilderness Name Jon Vaillancourt as Head Coach, Boitz to Remain GM

Created: August 07, 2019 08:53 PM

Cloquet, Minn. - Dave Boitz held two roles with the Cloquet-based Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Now, he'll be able to concentrate on just one. Recently hired Assistant Coach Jon Vaillancourt has been promoted to the position of Head Coach while Boitz will remain the General Manager, a position he's held for six seasons.

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“After much consideration and discussions with the team owners we decided it was best for the organization and our players to have a separate and full-time General Manager and a separate full time Head Coach,” stated Boitz on the NAHL website. “I have worked with Jon over the summer months and have been very impressed with his leadership and coaching abilities. He is clearly ready to take this next step.”

“Joe Dusek and I are very supportive of Dave’s decision to return to the General Manager’s role and give Jon the opportunity to lead our team,” said Chris Trapp, President & Owner of the Wilderness in a statement on the NAHL's website.

Vaillancourt is originally from La Valle, Wisconsin and has spent the last two seasons as the Head Coach and General Manager for the Coulee Region Chill in the NA3HL. In his first season, the Chill (then known as the La Crosse Freeze), posted a record of 34-12-1, claiming the Central Division Championship Title, with six players moving on to the NAHL. Last season, the Chill captured the regular season Central Divison Championship with a program record of 36-9-2. That also included 10 NCAA commitments from the 2018-19 team.

Vaillancourt has also coached in both the 2018 and 2019 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournaments.

Before his coaching career, Vaillancourt played four years at Framingham State University of NCAA D3 and was one of the captains his senior year. After college, he joined the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL before transitioning into coaching. He has also coached with the Hampton Roads Whalers and was a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Skills Development Coach in the ECHL with the Norfolk Admirals.

The Wilderness will open their season September 18th at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.

To see the schedule for the Wilderness, click here.

(Contributions from the North American Hockey League.)

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