Jackalopes name Fortier as new Head Coach
April 13, 2020
The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are thrilled to announce that they have hired Jason Fortier to be the program’s seventh Head Coach in team history and fifth as a member of the NAHL. Fortier joins the Jackalopes as GM of Hockey Operations and Head Coach. Current General Manager, Rick Matchett, remains with the team as its President.
“I am tremendously excited about coaching in the North American Hockey League and particularly for a team with a proud tradition like the Jackalopes,” Fortier said. “We plan to create a culture that will become our identity and put an emphasis on creating the type of on ice product that will bring back the grit and pride to our loyal fans of Odessa, Midland and the entire Permian Basin. The Jackalopes will strive to become leaders in player development, promoting and preparing players for College Hockey and as of today our ultimate goal as a group is to bring a Championship to the Permian Basin.”
Fortier, 45, brings 11 years of excellence in the junior hockey coaching ranks. This past season he was the GM and Head Coach of the Coquitlam Express in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). His team finished 47 wins – 9 losses and won the regular season championship. During the playoffs, his team went undefeated heading into the Division Finals, until the season was ended due to the coronavirus. Over the past two seasons Coach Fortier has placed 31 of his players into Division 1 College hockey and he was named the BCHL Coach of the Year this past season.
Coach Fortier comes to Odessa with an impressive winning record behind the bench and has many Championships and accolades to his resume. He has captured the U-18 National Championship, several Jr. A leagues titles and a championship in the prestigious Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He has 8 Championship rings in total, with 7 coming from coaching and 1 from his playing days.
Before joining the coaching ranks, Fortier played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), in Jr. A and then professional hockey in Europe and later for the Wichita Thunder in the Central Hockey League. He also played 4 seasons in the Canadian College Hockey League.