BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Bakersfield Condors, official ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, have announced John Olver has joined the organization as Assistant to the Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel. He will assist Raymond specifically in the areas of recruiting and scouting at the pro and amateur levels.
Olver is a familiar name to Condors fans, having spent 10 seasons as head coach and general manager with three different Condors foes: the Fresno Falcons, Tacoma Sabercats and the Idaho Steelheads. His resume includes a Taylor Cup Championship in the West Coast Hockey League with Tacoma in 1999 and a Kelly Cup title with Idaho in ECHL play in 2004. Olver has taken home Coach of the Year honors four times, and has reached the finals five times in his 10-year professional coaching career.
Not only did Olver serve as a head coach and GM in the WCHL, but he was one of the co-founders of the entire league. He was also involved with the ownership of the Bakersfield Fog and was instrumental in working with local city government in developing and constructing then-named Centennial Garden, the award-winning arena the Condors call home 14 years later.
In 2005, the University of Michigan graduate returned to the college ranks, serving as assistant coach at Northern Michigan University for two seasons. During the 2007-08 campaign, Olver served as President and General Manager of the Iowa Stars, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars.
From Marty Raymond:
“It’s good to have J.O. on board. His connections throughout hockey and especially in the college ranks are going to be not only appreciated, but indispensible. He was always known to be a great recruiter and obviously knows how to win.”
From John Olver:
“I am really excited to have the opportunity to return to the ECHL. Successful coaching moves are all about timing, and this is the right time to join the Condors. I have watched Marty guide this team to the top of the Pacific Division the last two seasons and I believe the Condors are knocking on the door, challenging for their first Kelly Cup. I can’t wait to get started.”
Olver’s career in hockey included being drafted in the 1978 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Colorado Rockies, however he passed a professional playing career in favor of joining the coaching and management ranks. He spent six seasons as both a head coach and GM of various teams in Western Canadian junior hockey, including Tri-City in the Western Hockey League, as well as New Westminster and Kelowna in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.
His sons, Darin and Mark, both were drafted by NHL clubs and played hockey at NMU. Darin currently plays in Germany with Berlin in the DEL, while Mark skated with the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL in 2010-11 in his rookie season. Olver and his wife, Diana, also have a daughter, Breanne, who attends Boise State University.
Matthew Riley nominated for Executive of the Year
Condors President Matthew Riley has once again been nominated for the ECHL Executive of the Year. Riley has twice won a league executive of the year award, in 2000 (WCHL) and in 2007 (ECHL), and has been a finalist numerous additional times. The nominees are selected by their peers from around the league, and the award will be presented at the ECHL Board of Governors meetings in June.
The Countdown has officially begun! Opening Night for the Condors 2011-12 campaign will be Saturday, Oct. 15, just 158 days away. Game time is 7 p.m. Home Ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are now on sale, starting at just $48. The Condors will battle the rival Stockton Thunder in Bakersfield in preseason action on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. Visit www.BakersfieldCondors.com or call 324-PUCK(7825) for more information.
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