Mike Vandekamp is returning to the Peace region. The Fort St. John native signed a three-year deal to return to the Grande Prairie Storm as general manager and head coach after nine years away.
Vandekamp managed and coached the Storm for four seasons from 2007 to 2011. He was also the director of operations for the first three of those seasons. Under Vandekamp, the Storm were very successful, winning the AJHL championship in 2009, and going 154-72-19 during his tenure.
The team has struggled mightily since Vandekamp left and both the team and its new head coach are hoping this reunion will result in a return to the top of the standings.
The Storm finished fifth in the AJHL's North Division each of the past two years, after a stretch of last or second-last place finishes following Vandekamp's departure in 2011.
Vandekamp left the Storm to become the head coach and general manager of the BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers, a position he held for seven seasons. The Clippers made the playoffs six of the seven seasons Vandekamp was there, winning the division twice and losing in the BCHL finals in the 2014-15 season to the Penticton Vees.
He spent the last two seasons as general manager and coach of the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL. The team hovered around .500, with a record of 52-52-10-3 during that time.
The 2020-21 season will be Vandekamp's 26th as a junior hockey coach.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.