Alaska-Fairbanks, who were seeking a replacement for head coach Dallas Ferguson who left for the WHL, has chosen their coach for the 2017-18 season. Lance West, who first joined the Alaska-Fairbanks program in 2007-08 has been named the interim head coach for this season.
West, an Alabama-Huntsville alum, will be a head coach for the first time when he steps behind the Nanooks bench this season. After five seasons as an assistant for Huntsville, West first came to Fairbanks as a volunteer assistant coach before becoming a full assistant in 2008-09 when Ferguson was hired. West was the recruiting coordinator for Fairbanks and was responsible for the forwards.
Below is a statement from West (pulled from the Daily News-Miner):
I want to thank Dr. Gray and rest of the athletic administration for this opportunity and want to extend a special thank-you to Dallas Ferguson for everything he has done for my family and I over the last nine years. Dallas has been nothing but a great role model, mentor and friend.
Over the past nine seasons, I have seen the passion and love the alumni, boosters, fans and the community of Fairbanks has for the Nanook hockey program,” West continued. “I look forward to trying to challenge myself to exceed expectations and know we have the foundation in place to be successful.
I would expect that with all the issues going on with the budget at UAF this will become a permanent hire unless it is an unmitigated disaster.