08/17/2011 04:02 EDT | Updated 10/17/2011 05:12 EDT

Coaching legend Brian Kilrea to step down as Ottawa 67's general manager

OTTAWA - Brian Kilrea's long tenure as the general manager of the Ottawa 67's is coming to an end.

The coaching legend said Wednesday he will relinquish the GM role prior to the upcoming Ontario Hockey League season.

The 76-year-old, who stepped away from coaching duties with the 67's in 2009, plans to remain with the club as a scout.

"I still intend to scout and be at every tournament and a lot of the games, but it's one of those things where I felt I could take a little time away from the rink," Kilrea said.

Current 67's head coach Chris Byrne will assume the general manager's role, a move that Kilrea said makes him more comfortable handing over control of the team.

"(Byrne's) ready. We talk about all the players and the different transactions and the players available," Kilrea said. "Like it's one of those things where he's ready and it was a perfect time for me to leave, because he's a good one and he works hard."

Kilrea, who won two Memorial Cups and five OHL coach of the year awards with Ottawa, has been the general manager of the club for 35 of the last 37 years.

His 1,193 coaching wins ranks first all-time in Canadian Hockey League history.