In 2011-12, Jim Hiller returns to the Tri-City bench for his third season.Â In his first two years at the helm, Hiller guided the Americans to back-to-back 40+ win seasons, including the team’s third division title in 2010 that was capped by a thrilling playoff run to the WHL Finals.Â Tri-City has also finished among the top-3 in the WHL in scoring and has been one of the least penalized teams in the WHL.Â Currently serving his second stint with the club, Hiller replaced longtime bench boss, Don Nachbaur prior to the 2009-10 season.Â After wrapping up his playing career, Hiller joined the Americans’ coaching staff in 2002-03 as an assistant to Shaun Clouston.Â Hiller was then promoted to Associate Coach before the 2003-04 season.
Before the 2004-05 season, Hiller took an opportunity to serve as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the British Columbia Hockey League. In two seasons, Hiller compiled a 75-32-11 record (0.682 win%), including two second-place finishes in the Island Division, back-to-back Conference Semi-Finals appearances and Coach of the Year honors after the 2005-06 season.
Hiller returned to the WHL in 2006 as head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins.Â Scheduled against the always-competitive B.C. Division, Hiller’s Bruins made the post-season in their inaugural season.Â Then, in Year 2, Chilliwack won a then franchise-high 28 games while claiming 3rd in the division and the #7 seed in the Playoffs.Â 2008-09, however, was a devastating season, as several top players were either lost to the NHL or injury.Â Despite the obstacles, Hiller’s club finished just eight points back of the final playoff spot.
Prior to his coaching career, Hiller played 3 years at Northern Michigan University, winning a NCAA Championship in 1991 with the Wildcats before playing professionally for 10 seasons.Â The former 10th round pick by the Los Angeles Kings (1989), appeared in 63 NHL games between the Kings, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers.Â Hiller then headed overseas, playing in Germany and Italy, before retiring in 2002.