Team Sites
Follow the BCHL

Express make change behind the bench

The Coquitlam Express have announced the hiring of Jason Fortier as the team’s new head coach and assistant general manager.

The move replaces Barry Wolff who held both coach and general manager roles for the last five seasons. The Express have gotten off to a 3-21-1-1 start to the season and missed the playoffs last year. Wolff guided the Express to the 2014 Fred Page Cup BCHL title and also served as an assistant and head coach with Team Canada West at the 2015 and 2016 World Junior A Challenge tournaments, winning gold in 2015.

Fortier, 43, brings to the Express a wealth of experience and a long track record of success behind the bench with 12 years of coaching at the Junior A and AAA midget levels. His last two seasons were spent coaching in the Canadian Hockey League, most recently in 2016-17 as an associate coach with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers and the 2015/16 season as assistant coach with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. During his season with Rouyn-Noranda, the Huskies won the QMJHL Championship and competed in the Memorial Cup, ultimately losing in overtime in the final.

During the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, Fortier was the head coach and general manager of the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the OJHL, winning back-to-back OJHL championships and competing in the 2014 RBC Cup in Vernon. In these same two seasons, Fortier also served as the director of Hockey and Assistant Coach of the Toronto Nationals Midget AAA team, winning consecutive Ontario Midget AAA Championships and earning two trips to the Telus Cup Canadian championship, claiming victory in the 2015 tournament.

Over a six-year time span, Fortier compiled an impressive coaching record of 234 wins, 100 losses and 28 overtime losses. He is one of the few coaches who have coached in the Memorial Cup, the RBC Cup and the Telus Cup.

Fortier was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and played junior hockey in the OHL. He subsequently played in Germany and Holland, and then in the Central Hockey League. He has family ties to Trail as his father played for the Smoke Eaters senior men’s clubs in the 1969-70 season.