Brent Sutter, President and General Manager of the Red Deer Rebels, announced Friday night that the club and head coach Derrick Walser have mutually agreed to part ways.

The team has named Dave Struch Interim Head Coach through the end of the season.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, and we want to thank Derrick for his contributions to the Rebels. He’s a good man with an exceptional work ethic that will serve him well going forward,” said Sutter.

“Unfortunately, our play on the ice this season has been inconsistent and below our expectations. After meeting following our game tonight, we mutually agreed that in the best interests of our players and on-ice performance, we needed to make a change.”

Sutter added, “We look forward to working with Dave, who provides an experienced voice that we feel will benefit our locker room going forward.”

Struch, a native of Flin Flon, MB, served as Director, Hockey at Notre Dame College in Wilcox, SK this past season. Struch played four seasons in the Western Hockey League for the Saskatoon Blades before embarking on a 14-season professional career. He has five years of head coaching experience in the WHL with Saskatoon and Regina, and 12 years as an assistant coach with Saskatoon, Regina, and Everett.

Struch will officially join the Rebels on Sunday.