Bern ice hockey club have named former Zurich Lions trainer Kent Ruhnke as their new coach.This content was published on January 8, 2002 - 14:37
Ruhnke's appointment was announced just 24 hours after the dismissal of fomer coach Riccardo Fuhrer, who on Monday paid the ultimate price for Bern's disappointing start to the season.
Tipped as strong title contenders just a few months ago, the side from the Swiss capital are currently facing a tough fight even to qualify for the championship playoffs.
In Ruhnke the club have acquired a coach with recent experience of championship glory. The 49-year-old Canadian steered the Zurich Lions to the Swiss title in 2000, but was controversially removed from the post of head coach after a clash of personalities with sporting director Simon Schenk.
Since then Ruhnke has been enjoying an 18-month 'sabbatical' while remaining on the Lions' payroll.
Ruhnke has embarked on something of a tour of Switzerland during his time in the country, holding down coaching positions at Biel, Fribourg, Olten, Zug and Martigny prior to his job with the Lions.
His contract with Bern runs until the end of the current season.
The Canadian will have little time to prepare for his first task at Bern. On Tuesday evening, within hours of Ruhnke's appointment, Bern take on one of the new man's former clubs, with third-placed Zug visiting the Allmend stadium.
Ruhnke will also be hoping to see the Lions do well on Tuesday. While Bern play Zug, the Zurich team will be in action against Lausanne - the team directly behind Bern in the chase for the playoffs.
swissinfo with agencies
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