ODESSA, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, 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.
“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. Over the past two seasons Fortier has placed 31 of his players into Division I college hockey and he was named the 2019-20 BCHL Coach of the Year. Additionally, Fortier has captured the U-18 National Championship, several Jr. A leagues titles and a championship in the prestigious Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In total, he has 8 Championship rings, 7 as a coach and 1 from his playing days.
This past season, he was the GM and Head Coach of the Coquitlam Express in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) for the 2019-20 season. His team finished the year with 47 wins – 9 losses and won the regular season championship. During the playoffs, the team went undefeated heading into the Division Finals, until the season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus.
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.