RED DEER, Alta. - Brian Sutter is stepping down as head coach of the Red Deer Rebels.
The Western Hockey League team announced the resignation Monday, with former player and associate coach Jesse Wallin to take over on the bench.
"This past week Brian and I had discussions about his personal commitments and the amount of time that needs to be put into the head coaching position for this upcoming season and for the future," team owner and president Brent Sutter said in a release. "At the conclusion of those discussions, it was mutually agreed upon that he would resign as head coach for the proper direction of the hockey club."
Brian Sutter took over as head coach before the start of the season when Brent - his brother - accepted a head coaching position with the NHL's New Jersey Devils.
Wallin also served as an assistant coach for two seasons under Brent Sutter. Wallin, who played for the Rebels from 1994-98, becomes the seventh head coach in team history.
Brent Sutter said he and his brother felt Wallin was the right man to take over.
"I'm very excited for Jesse to take over as head coach and continue moving forward in the direction that this hockey club needs to go in," Sutter said.
Dallas Gaume will remain as assistant coach and Andy Nowicki will remain as goaltending coach.
"I'm extremely excited and honoured for the opportunity to become head coach of this proud franchise," Wallin said. "I'm looking forward to the upcoming challenge of getting this hockey team back to being an elite club in the Western Hockey League."
The Rebels missed the playoffs after finishing last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 18-47-4-3, good for just 43 points.
"Dallas has been with the organization since the 2000-01 season and Andy has been a part of the organization at different times throughout the franchise's history," Brent Sutter said. "The knowledge that all of these men have, and how things are done here both on and off the ice, gives me great confidence and trust that moving forward through this transition period that we're in we will become once again a very competitive team in the Western Hockey League."