Gold Miners announce coaching change

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – Kirkland Lake Gold Miners’ team president Derek Callahan announced Wednesday that the club has relieved Kyle Smart of his duties as head coach and general manager.

Smart had served in the role with the team since early 2019.

The search for the next head coach will begin immediately.

“Today, with the unanimous support of the executive committee of the Gold Miners, Kyle Smart has been relieved of his duties,” offered Callahan.

“After two-plus years working with Kyle, this was an extremely difficult decision,” Callahan added. “I want to thank and acknowledge Kyle for all his work and success with the Gold Miners organization. We are appreciative of Kyle both professionally and personally.”

Callahan went on to provide: “After taking some time to fully digest where we stand currently in the Eastern Conference, as well as in the entire NOJHL, we felt that the direction of our team for both this season and beyond would benefit from a new voice.”

“Throughout his time here, Kyle’s deep passion for the game and pride he showed in representing this franchise was undeniable,” Callahan went on to say.

Smart will stay on with the club, in an advisory role to the Hockey Operations department.

“I have the utmost confidence in Barry Ferguson and club executive committee to conduct a thorough search to identify the best candidate that is going to help our team reach its full potential,” stated Callahan.

Rick Witty will assume control of the bench effective immediately and his efforts will be supplemented with the addition of one or two associate coaches.

Further coaching staff announcements will be made in the near future.

Kirkland Lake’s next game will be Friday evening as they host the Cochrane Crunch in a 7 p.m. start at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.