RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna is proud to announce the official coaching staff of our U-15, U-15 Prep, U-16 Prep, U-17 Prep, U-18 Prep and U-18 Female Prep teams for the upcoming 2021-22’ season. We are eager to start this season in our brand-new training facility which our teams will call home for the season!
Meet the Coaches!
I think there is extra excitement going into this year and to especially be playing games again after the hiatus. We are proud to welcome Keyvan to the team and excited to be apart of him kickstarting his coaching career. We have a great group of guys and I am excited to see them grow both on the ice and off the ice.
Mark Ferner, Head Coach | Ferner was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. Selected 194th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Ferner also played for the Washington Capitals, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and Detroit Red Wings. Mark has 16 years of coaching experience with many achievements such as two-time coach of the year in the BCHL as well as the only coach to take 3 consecutive RBC championships winning two and losing in the finals the third time. Along with, 7 years coaching in the WHL as both an assistant and head coach. With scouting experience for the Buffalo Sabres.
Keyvan Mokhtari, Assistant Coach | Keyvan was born in Burnaby, BC playing 4 seasons in the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies, Vernon Vipers and Langley Riverman. After receiving a scholarship to play NCAA Div 1 at Colorado College, Keyvan had to make the difficult decision to hang up the skates due to injury. This will be Keyvan’s first year as a team coach, in past years he has worked every summer as a coach for skill development camps. Keyvan is looking forward to working alongside veteran, Mark Ferner, who was Keyvan's coach in Vernon.
U-15 Prep //
I’m looking forward to being at RINK and having the opportunity to work with young athletes who are passionate about getting better.
Meet the Coaches!
Jarome Iginla, Head Coach | The No. 11 pick by the Dallas Stars in the 1995 NHL Draft, Iginla won or contended for nearly every award available to an NHL forward, starting with a runner-up finish to Bryan Berard of the New York Islanders for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year in 1996-97, when he scored 50 points (21 goals, 29 assists) for the Calgary Flames. A two-time Memorial Cup winner with Kamloops of the Western Hockey League, Iginla skated right out of junior hockey into the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Flames. He played two games in a first-round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The WHL Player of the Year for 1995-96 after scoring 63 goals and 136 points in 63 games with Kamloops, Iginla became Flames property as part of a Dec. 1995 trade that sent Joe Nieuwendyk to Dallas. Jarome has spent the past 4 years coaching minor hockey in Boston, Massachusetts, a hot bed for hockey in the north east of the United States. He has coached his sons, Tij and Joe’s respective minor hockey teams, and most recently helped bring the 2006 Boston Jr. Eagles from a 20th ranked team to #1 in the nation. They have competed against all the top Toronto-based team like the Jr. Marlies. Along with coaching the Jr. Eagles, Jarome has also been coaching the past three seasons with the 2008 Boston Jr. Terriers
Zach McPhee, Assistant Coach | Zach joined Pursuit of Excellence in August 2019 as the Assistant Coach for Bantam Varsity. Originally from Vernon, British Columbia where Zach played his minor hockey before playing Major Midget for the Okanagan Rockets. Zach was drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft by the Tri-City Americans. Zach split his early junior career between the BCHL Vernon Vipers and the Tri-City Americans. After being traded to Everett, Zach spent the next 3 and a half years playing for both the Everett Silvertips and finishing off his junior career with the Kootenay Ice. Post junior hockey, Zach spent 5 years playing in the CIS (Canadian University) in Regina where he served as an Assistant Captain for his last 3 seasons with the Cougars Men’s Hockey Team. Zach studied his degree in Sociology as a part of the Arts Faculty at The University of Regina.
Born in Edmonton, grew up playing minor hockey in St. Albert, AB. A goaltender, drafted by the Seattle Thunderbirds, went on to play 5 years of junior hockey starting at 16 for the Quesnel Millionaires of the RMJHL. Junior highlights include playing for Seattle and the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL and winning a league championship with the St. Albert Saints of the AJHL. Spent time in minor pro and in Europe for 2 seasons. Coached several seasons in St. Albert including head coaching Peewee AA, leading the team to 2 tournament wins. High Performance 1 certified coach.
U-16 Prep //
I’m thrilled to be a part of RINK Academy; I see this as a great opportunity to build something really special. The coaching staff we have assembled is truly amazing. I am looking forward to learning from all the experience we have amongst our Academy. I am expecting a great season from our team. We have a very focused and motivated group, mixed with some great talent. That’s all a coach can ask for. This is a huge year in their development as young men and players. We are going to have a lot of fun and success this year!
Meet the Coaches!
Josh Bonar, Head Coach | Josh Bonar is an experienced head coach from Port Alberni, B.C. specializing in player skills and development. Josh was head coach of the U17 team at St. Georges Academy this past season and coached for six years at BWC Academy prior to that, including three years as the head coach of the U16 Academy team. In the off-season, Josh has been running skill development programs throughout the lower mainland for the past eight years. He has worked with thousands of athletes – from youth hockey to NHL players – and founded the reputable business, Hockey House, based in Vancouver. Josh has also assisted the Vancouver Canucks with video review and coaches challenge for the past three seasons. During his junior career, Josh played with the Kamloops Blazers, Vancouver Giants and Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Josh then went on to play two years at Brock University and 7+ years professionally in Europe and the United States from 2008 to 2014 where he led the Mol Liga in goals and points in two out of his three seasons in the league.
Justin Kelly, Assistant Coach | Justin was born in Vancouver, BC and at 16 started really chasing his hockey dream. He played five years in the WHL, and then another 17+ playing professionally all over the world. He’s now back in BC and excited for his next chapter. His hockey career and travel experience coupled with successes and failures has given him a wide view of diverse cultures, ways of life and people. He enjoyed a 17-year pro career spanning six countries and 14 cities, including Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and 10 years in Germany. Some career highlights include winning three league championships, three league scoring titles, two-time player of year honors, and two time forward of the year. He then capped his career off having his #27 retired with the Bietigheim Steelers of the del in Germany in 2019. He has a vast knowledge about the human body and takes a holistic approach to health and fitness which is a staple in his everyday life. Since retiring from hockey he has completed his personal training certification and nutrition with PN among other personal passions like XPT Training. He feels there is more to hockey than just the on-ice experience. He believes there is a need to educate and mentor young athletes to widen the lens: from on-ice skills to dry land training and nutrition, to concussion management – he takes a whole human approach. He is excited to join the the RINK team and help support young athletes on and off the ice.
U-17 Prep //
Exciting season ahead of our team as I am excited for this new chapter to coach student-athletes and help them get to their next level. Not only will our team grow together but also individually as men.
Meet the Coaches!
Perry Pearn, Head Coach | Pearn coached at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology for over 10 years. During his time coaching in the ACAC, he had the opportunity to coach at the Canadian National Level multiple times. In 1993 Pearn led his team as head coach to win a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship and since has been awarded 3 World Championship gold medals. Spending over 20 years coaching in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadians, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks. During the summer months, Perry runs elite-level camps in his hometown of Alberta for major junior and professional players.
Larry Robinson, Assistant Coach | Larry has been the Goaltending Coach for the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and most recently the Westside Warriors of the BCHL. He has also worked with goaltenders for many years in the minor hockey system. Larry has been involved with the BC Best Ever High-Performance Program as a Goalie Coach, Assistant Coach and Evaluator. In 2009/2010 he was the Goalie Coach for Team West at the World Jr A Challenge. He also is instrumental in working with video analysis for our goaltenders, as well as analyzing game video for players. He is active in the teaching of the game and has a passion for moving goaltenders on to the next level which has included WHL, Jr A, Jr B and NCAA.
U-18 Prep //
With the amount of time without playing hockey games I think there’s a lot of extra excitement going into this year. We have a young group so it will be a good challenge for us at the U18 level. It should be an extremely fun year as we have added some new faces to our core group.
Meet the Coaches!
Byron Ritchie, Head Coach | Byron joined Pursuit of Excellence in September 2019 as the Bantam Prep Head Coach. Byron played his junior career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, winning the WHL Championship in his final season. In January of 2020 was inducted in the Hurricanes Wall of Honour. He has also played 8 years in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks with a total of 324 games in the NHL. In his final 10 years of playing Byron played in professional leagues throughout Europe including Sweden, Belarus and Switzerland, winning the Swiss Championship with Bern in 2013. After finishing his playing career Byron went on to coach young hockey players, empowering them with the skills and resources they need to move on to the next level. RHA Kelowna is very happy to have Byron as part of the Coaching Staff.
Locke Muller, Assistant Coach | Locke joined Pursuit of Excellence in September 2018 as the Assistant Coach for E15 and in September 2019 Locke became Assistant Coach for Bantam Prep. Originally from St. Paul, Alberta where Locke played his early minor hockey before moving to Kelowna to join the POE program as a Midget aged player. While captaining the POE Midget Prep team in his second year, Locke was listed by the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. His 4-year junior hockey career was spent with the Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades of the WHL and finally with the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL where he was named Team Captain and Top Defensive Forward for 2 consecutive years. At the collegiate level, Locke played for the NAIT Ooks helping his team win the ACAC Championship.
Maco Balkovec, Co-Head Coach | Maco’s experience includes time with Bowling Green State University, Burnaby Winter Club, and The Canadian Sports School Hockey League amongst others. Maco comes from a teaching background that has been intertwined with coaching ever since he began his first teaching position 24 years ago. Through this experience he has developed a passion and ability to connect and inspire students, players, and peers. In his time with Burnaby Winter Club, Maco developed and implemented a plan for long term athlete development as well as establishing key contacts within the WHL, NCAA, BCHL, BC Hockey, and the CSSHL. During his time as Vice Chair of the CSSHL, Maco helped establish new policies and guidelines for league operations, assisted in the creation of the Education committee to standardize expectations in the classroom, as well as aided in the quest for expansion within the league that grew from 13 to 18 programs during his tenure.
U-18 Female Prep //
We are really excited to start things up in our new facility. Newly appointed assistant coaches Abby Cook and Carlee Toews are bringing fresh new energy to the daily activities. The girls are looking forward to getting back into game action and competing in some top tournaments and getting exposure to schools live again. Our goal is to get better everyday every way.
Meet the Coaches!
Kris Hogg, Head Coach | Kris originally comes from Sicamous, BC. Kris started coaching on the Male side at Pursuit of Excellence in September 2015 coaching the Midget Varsity 16U Team before making the switch to coaching the POE Female Prep team in September of 2016. Kris played all his minor hockey with Sicamous before making the jump at age 16 to the WHL. He enjoyed a successful junior career with both the Kamloops Blazers and Lethbridge Hurricanes with highlights that include being a fourth-round draft pick to Calgary Flames in 2004 and finishing 4th in goals in the 06-07 season. Kris then moved on to play at Lakehead University before turning professional for the next 5 years. His professional career includes exhibition and regular season games in several leagues including the NHL, AHL, ECHL and European Leagues. During his playing career, Kris gained a passion for coaching through working with several minor hockey associations, Spring teams and hockey camps developing young hockey players for a future career in the sport. Kris is excited working for RINK to help provide life and hockey skills to develop not only talented players, but good people. While attending Lakehead University, Kris received his Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Human Resources/Industrial Relations. Kris also works with BC Hockey running skills development for the U16 and U18 Female Camps and is also a Head Skating Instructor at the Edge of Excellence Skating Camps. This season Kris will once again be taking on duties as Head Coach with our RHA Kelowna U18 Female Prep team.
Abby Cook, Assistant Coach | Abby attended POE for 4 years before continuing to Boston University in the NCAA. While at BU, she became the programs highest scoring defenseman with 99 career points, as well as a 3-time Hockey East all-star. She then went on to play the 2020-2021 season in Sweden representing Djurgården in the SDHL. Abby will return to play pro this year suiting up for the Boston Pride as well as coaching at the Rink Hockey Academy.
Carlee Towes, Assistant Coach | Carlee was born in Grande Prairie, AB where she played most of her minor hockey. Toews went to OHA her last year of high school and then continued a scholarship to play Division I hockey at the University of New Hampshire, serving as captain her senior year. She graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. Carlee completed a Dietetic Internship and Masters in Nutrition, Research and Health Promotion at Simmons University further becoming a Registered Dietitan. During this time, she played for the Boston Pride in the National Women’s Hockey League in the 2019-20 season finishing with a 23-1 record and as regular season champions. This is Toews's first year as an Assistant Coach, however has 3 years of experience working as an on-ice instructor for Dynamic Edge Power Skating and Skills.