Americans tab Hiller as next head coach


KENNEWICK - Tri-City Americans General Manager Bob Tory announced Monday that the team has signed Jim Hiller to a multi-year contract to serve as the club's new head coach.

Per team policy, the terms and conditions of the agreement were not disclosed. Hiller replaces Don Nachbaur on the Tri-City bench, becoming the 19th coach in the franchise's history.

Hiller brings a wealth of Western Hockey League experience to Tri-City after spending the past three seasons with the Chilliwack Bruins. Hiller's 72 wins are second only to Seattle's Rob Sumner for most WHL wins among active coaches in the U.S. Division. His 216 WHL games coached are also fifth among active coaches in the Western Conference.

"Coaching is all about building relationships with your players to maximize potential and performance," Tory said. "I have known Jim for many years and watched him grow into one of the WHL's premier coaches. His firm, fair and calm approach is exactly what our team needs to continue the commitment to excellence that has previously been established.

"Jim played for and learned from some of the NHL's top coaches, including Tom Renney, Bryan Murray, Mike Keenan and Scotty Bowman. We look forward to him returning to the Americans."

After concluding a 13-year playing career, including 63 NHL games, Hiller began his coaching career with the Americans in 2002-03 as an assistant coach under Shawn Clouston. Hiller was then promoted to the team's associate coach before the start of the 2003-04 season.


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