Ilves has appointed Jari Kauppila as the new head coach of the Ilves U20 team on a contract that covers the 2022–2024 seasons. Assistant coaches Tomi Pettinen and Juha Selin and goaltender coach Roope Antila have signed one-year contract extensions.
The new head coach of the Ilves U20 team Jari Kauppila, 48, has seven years of coaching experience at KooKoo and Jukurit. He started his coaching career right after ending his playing career at KooKoo after 2013–2014 season.
In his first season as a coach Kauppila worked as an assistant coach of the KooKoo team in Mestis, where the team won silver, and in the two following seasons in Liiga. He moved on to become the head coach of the KooKoo U20 team for the 2017–2020 seasons. Kauppila started last season as an assistant coach of the Jukurit Liiga team and took the responsibilities of the head coach for the last month of the season. He didn’t work as a coach this ongoing season.
As a player Kauppila competed in over 1000 games in the Finnish and Swedish top leagues. He won the league championships in Sweden’s Elitserien and Finland’s Mestis and also won silver and bronze in the Finnish Liiga.
– I’m very happy to join Ilves and the organisation that has done a fine and persistent job in order to strengthen its operations. The discussions we had with sport director Timo Koskela and development coach Mika Marttila convinced me about the club’s desire to rise the junior team’s operations to the next level like they have done with the club’s Liiga team, says Jari Kauppila.
The new Ilves U20 head coach thinks that team’s quality cooperation is based on hard-working culture and good atmosphere.
– I want players to commit to the daily work and development both as a team and as individuals. Obviously the individual player development is the main long-term goal in the juniors, but at the same time we want to play quality ice hockey and succeed as a team as well, says Kauppila.
Sports director Timo Koskela sees Kauppila as a modern and passionate coach who Ilves wanted to bring to the organisation to help revise the club’s U20 junior’s operations.
– Joining our club organisation from the outside, Jari Kauppila’s appointment as the Ilves U20 head coach is in line with the path we have taken in order to revise and develop our junior programme operations. The process will be led by the development coach Mika Marttila who we appointed earlier and who starts in his role in May. After his contract was confirmed we took time to go through the candidates for our U20 team’s head coach role and now we got the person we wanted, tells Koskela.
– Jari gained strong coaching experience at KooKoo’s and Jukurit’s professional Liiga teams and junior teams. He did a great job as the KooKoo U20 head coach and was able to develop the players forward. ”Kake” has always been a passionate coach who cares about the players, the sport and the game. We believe he will bring along new thoughts and will offer our U20 team a lot of knowledge and drive. We are really pleased he was inspired by Ilves’ process and took the chance we offered.