BRITISH COLUMBIA

WHL's Vancouver Giants hire Claude Noel as head coach

11/30/2014 08:20 EST | Updated 01/30/2015 05:59 EST
VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Giants have hired former Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel as their new head coach.

The Western Hockey League team announced the move Sunday.

"We're excited to have Claude join our organization," said Giants general manager Scott Bonner. "He has worked extensively with Ken Hitchcock, who is one of the best coaches in WHL history, and with Claude coming from the NHL, we know he's one of the top coaches in the world. We're confident that he can get us back on track."

Noel coached the Jets from 2011-2014, compiling an 80-79-18 record. He also served as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets for part of the 2009-10 season, going 10-8-6 in that time.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the Giants organization," said Noel. "I'm familiar with the youth and the young players and the league, and I view it as a really good situation and a good opportunity."

Noel has coached professional hockey for over 25 years, including four season with the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals, where he won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as coach of the year in 2004 after his team won the Calder Cup. He also coached the Vancouver Canucks' AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, in the 2010-11 season.

The Giants, who fired their previous head coach Troy Ward on Wednesday, are last in the WHL's Western Conference with a 10-18-0 record.