Smokies Hope Fragle Rocks his New Position As Head Coach and GM

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The Trail Smoke Eaters have reached back into its alumni for their new head coach and general manager.

Tim Fragle spent two seasons with the team as a forward from 1997-to-1999 scoring a total of 20 goals and 49 points and has put together an impressive coaching resume.

Fragle said his coaching philosophy is based on a solid foundation.

 “I build relationships, that’s what coaching is all about,” said Fragle who pointed out that’s the basis for the detailed work involved.

“I know tactically and systematically there’s obviously things you have to do well along with that, but I think at the end of the day it’s building relationships and trying to get the most out of your people.”

The 40-year-old from Edmonton had 65 wins in two seasons as head coach of the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders, with stellar results from behind the bench of the NAIT Ooks of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

Fragle’s teams at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology recorded four consecutive first place finishes and he has been named ACAC coach of the year in three of his four seasons with the Ooks.

In 2019-20 Fragle guided the team to a record of 24-4 and had an overall record of 95-21-9-2 at NAIT.

He also played for the Ooks for three seasons.

Fragle replaced Jeff Tambellini who left after two excellent seasons with the Smokies to join the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as a scout.  

The new man in charge said coming back to Trail to join an organization on the rise checked off all the boxes.

“ I could see the trending direction upwards over the last four or five years and that’s really appealing for a coach,” said Fragle who added it was the right fit for his family.

“Also having known the town and the passion for hockey and it’s also a good town to grow a family in,.” said Fragle who hopes to move to Trail in June or July.