Bakersfield Condors name new coach

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The Bakersfield Condors have named a head coach after the departure of Troy Mann to the AHL's Hershey Bears.

Jean-Franois Houle takes over the ECHL Condors, coming off their best season that culminated with a trip to the conference finals.

Houle, 39, has spent the last four-plus seasons as a head coach in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In that league, he's compiled a record of 174-101-12-18 (.617) and four straight 40-win seasons.

"We are thrilled to name Jean-Franois Houle as the head coach of the Bakersfield Condors," Edmonton Oilers Assistant General Manager Bill Scott said in a news release. The Condors are owned by the Oilers.

"After an exhaustive interview process, we identified JF as the candidate we felt was best fit to lead the Condors and Oilers prospects into the future. He has an incredible knowledge of the game, strong work ethic and has the discipline to teach and mentor our players. JF has a bright future ahead of him and we are excited to have him join our organization," Scott said.

Hockey Canada named Houle head coach of one of three Canadian teams at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Houle began his coaching career at his alma mater, Clarkson University.

He was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1993 and played five seasons split between the AHL and ECHL.

The Condor's new head man is also the son of Rjean Houle, a five-time Stanley Cup winner who played over 700 games with the Canadiens.

"I have heard nothing but good things about the community of Bakersfield and the Condors organization," Houle said in a news release. "My family and I are excited for the opportunity to come to Bakersfield. This is an opportunity for me to learn the ropes as a professional coach, knowing that I have a big recruiting network. I'm personable, really enjoy teaching the game and consider my communication with players as a strength. I expect my teams to work hard and I am very demanding that they have a competitive edge."