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Blazers solidify coaching staff for the season

Image Credit: Kamloops Blazers
September 29, 2014 - 4:25 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Kamloops Blazers have secured their coaching staff for the 2014-15 season.

Mike Needham joins the team today as the new full-time assistant coach. Needham spent four seasons as the Blazers skills coach and the last three seasons as the head coach of the Okanagan Hockey Bantam Prep team.

As well, Chris Murray and Terry Bangen were added to staff as part-time assistant coaches.

Bangen spent five seasons with the Blazers as an assistant coach under Tom Renney and Don Hay. Bangen was a coach with Thompson Rivers University back when folks were still calling it Cariboo College. He was also a coach with the McGill University Redmen, Vancouver Canucks, Hockey Canada and the Tri-City Americans. Bangen will continue his role as assistant coach with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds hockey team.

Murray played for the Blazers from 1991-94 winning two Memorial Cups. he went on to a seven year pro career including 242 NHL games. Murray is a full-time employee with the Kamloops Fire Department.

The goaltending coach this year will be Dan De Palma who is in his sixth season with the hockey club after spending three seasons with the Prince George Cougars.

Peter Soberlak is the team's mental performance coach. He played with the WHL for the Blazers and Swift Current Broncos from 1985-89. During that time he won a Memorial Cup with the Broncos, in '89. He played three seasons then headed off to UBC to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology followed by a master's degree in sport and exercise psychology at Queen's. Soberlak is the chair of the physical education department at TRU.

The Blazers' strength and conditioning coach is Greg Kozoris. Kozoris is a high school teacher and univerisity professor in Kamloops specializing in strength and conditioning. He also owns and operates Acceleration, Kozoris Strength and Conditioning in Kamloops.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call 250-819-3723. To contact the managing editor, email Marshall Jones at or call 250-718-2724.

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