CONDORSTOWN, Calif. – The Bakersfield Condors and Team President Matthew Riley announced today that John Olver has been named general manager. Olver will manage the hockey operations department, and will head up the search for the team’s next head coach, as well as oversee player personnel.
The North Burnaby, British Columbia native played an integral role in the foundation of the WCHL, and in helping Bakersfield land their first professional hockey team in 1995 (the Bakersfield Fog).
Olver went from Idaho to Northern Michigan University, taking advantage of an opportunity to coach his oldest son, Darin, while serving two seasons as assistant coach. He then headed to Des Moines, Iowa to serve as president and general manager of the American Hockey League’s Iowa Stars in 2007-08.
Since 2009-10, he has served as GM/head coach of the Idaho Jr. Steelheads in the Western States Hockey League, winning the league title in each of the past three campaigns. This season, his team rolled to a 57-1-1 record en route to also claiming the AAU National Championship.
What Matt Riley says:
“Bringing John in at this time is a move intended to put the Condors at the top of the conference as a serious contender. You cannot find somebody with a more impressive record as a coach and as a team builder than J.O., and we’re confident that he can guide us in the right direction and get the horses in here we need to win.”
Matt Riley will be on First Look with Scott Cox, on KERN 1180 AM, Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. for further discussion. Go here to watch the live stream.
What J.O. says:
“I’m very excited to be here and be given the task of turning this team around on the ice. This is the best minor league hockey city in America and they deserve a winner. And the ownership is giving us the tools to do that. There will be no excuses for us; the resources will be here and we’re going to make it happen.” Originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies, in the 8th round of the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, Olver played three seasons at the University of Michigan and later passed over signing an NHL contract to focus on coaching. He became assistant coach of New Westminster in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League for his first coaching position at the age of 23. At 25, Olver earned his first head coaching position with Langley in the BCHL, and guided his team to a 40-8-2 record.
Olver has two sons who play professional hockey. Darin, 27, was a 2nd round draft pick of the New York Rangers currently playing in the DEL, the top league in Germany. Mark, 25, currently plays with the Colorado Avalanche, the team that drafted him in the 5th round.
JOHN OLVER CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
- 1998-99, WCHL, Tacoma Sabercats
- 2003-04, ECHL, Idaho Steelheads
- Coach of the Year, WCHL, 1997-98
- Coach of the Year, WCHL, 1998-99
- Coach of the Year, WCHL, 1999-00
- Co-Coach of the Year, WCHL, 2001-02
- Co-Coach, WCHL All-Star Team, 1999
- Co-Coach, WCHL All-Star Team, 2000
- (8th round, 125th overall), Colorado Rockies, 1978
Professional Head Coaching record
Season Team GP W-L-OTL Pts Win% GP W-L Win %
1995-96 Fresno(WCHL) 58 3 0- 21- 7 67 .578 7 4-3 .571**
1997-98 Tacoma(WCHL) 64 42-19-3 87 .680 12 8-4 .667**
1998-99 Tacoma(WCHL) 70 44-18-18 96 .686 11 9-2 .818
1999-00 Tacoma(WCHL) 72 51-12-9 111 .771 10 6-4 .600**
2000-01 Idaho(WCHL) 72 47-21-4 98 .681 13 9-4 .692**
2001-02 Idaho(WCHL) 72 47-17-8 102 .708 15 8-7 .533**
2002-03 Idaho(WCHL) 72 52-16-4 108 .750 6 2-4 .333
2003-04 Idaho(ECHL) 72 40-23-9 89 .618 18 13-5 .722
2004-05 Idaho(ECHL) 72 42-23-7 91 .632 4 1-3 .250
Bold – won league championship
** – Lost in the finals
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