Lowry handed extended role

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

Kelly Kisio has his staff in place.

Fresh off signing a multi-year contract extension with the Calgary Hitmen less than two weeks ago, the GM/head coach solidified his supporting cast yesterday.

Assistant coach Dave Lowry, entering his third season with the club, has been promoted to associate head coach.

Lowry's new post is more than just a title change, Kisio said.

"Dave's going to have a lot more responsibility this year," Kisio said. "I'll step back a little bit from the team at times.

"I might be on a scouting trip and let Dave take over.

"He's done a great job with the kids and I think he deserves an upgrade in status."

Kisio, entering his 10th season with the Hitmen and fourth behind the bench, said it will be beneficial for the players to hear different voices.

"It's probably good for the kids for me to be away a little more than I have been."

Lowry, who is cut from the same mold as Kisio, said the message won't change no matter who is patrolling the bench or running practice.

"I think we are very similar," Lowry said. "I think we support each other very well.

"It has always been the same message and it doesn't matter who's delivering it."

Lowry, who spent 19 seasons in the NHL, said he was happy with the promotion.

"It's a direction and a progression and I think the timing is right. I'm excited about the opportunity."

The Hitmen also announced Joel Otto will return for his second season as an assistant coach and goaltending coach Darcy Wakaluk is back for his fourth year with the club.

Kisio's son, Brent, has been hired as the club's video coach.

The younger Kisio spent time in the AJHL with Olds and Fort McMurray before finishing his junior career in the BCHL with Vernon.

He completed his playing days last season with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he graduated with a degree in criminology.

"He's going to do a lot of the video work for us," the elder Kisio said.

"We're going to emphasize that a lot more this year.

"He's going to be a jack-of-all-trades. He's going to be out scouting, and when Joel can't make the road trips, he'll be on the bench with us.

"He's going to learn the management side of the business."

The Hitmen open rookie camp Aug. 29 with main camp slated to begin Aug. 31.


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