Red Deer Rebels Owner, President, General Manager Brent Sutter announced on Thursday that Steve Konowalchuk has resigned as the club’s head coach.
Sutter says Konowalchuk made the decision to step down due to personal and family reasons.
“It’s disappointing to see Steve resign. But I also understand when it comes to personal/family reasons. He’s a great coach, and even more so a great man. I want to thank Steve for the outstanding job he did here for two seasons,” said Sutter.
“I wish Steve and his wife Leah all the best moving forward.”
In two years behind the Rebels bench, Konowalchuk compiled an impressive 86-36-3-3 regular season record and guided the team to two playoff series wins. The Rebels won 40 games in back-to-back regular seasons for the first time since 2001-03 and won the Central Division title in 2022-23. Konowalchuk was named Central Division Coach of the Year in 2021-22.
“I am very sad to be leaving the Red Deer Rebels organization,” Konowalchuk said.
“It was a pleasure and an honour to work with Brent, Shaun, and Merrick Sutter. The Rebels are truly a first-class organization in every way. I wish them and the players all the best going forward.”
Konowalchuk added, “I want to thank the best fans in the WHL, and the community of Red Deer for all their support.”
Steve had one year remaining on his contract with the club.
Also on Thursday, the Rebels announced that Assistant Coach Ryan Colville will not be returning after five seasons with the club as he plans to pursue other professional opportunities.
“Ryan grew a lot here during his time with us,” Sutter noted.
“He’s looking for a coaching opportunity closer to home in Cincinnati. He’s a good man, and I wish him all the best. I want to thank him for the job he did over five seasons.”
“I’ve had a great experience in my five years in Red Deer, I believe I’ve grown as a coach, and as a person under both Brent and Steve,” Colville said.
“I’m grateful for my time with the Rebels. I know that the experience here will serve me well moving forward and has prepared me for the next steps in my career.”