(Editor's note: Blizzard media release)
BILLINGS - The Billings Blizzard on Wednesday announced Eddie LaPera as the first head coach in franchise history. LaPera is originally from Thornton, Colorado and currently resides in Billings.
During his playing career, LaPera played for the Dallas Alliance Bulldogs 16U AAA, the Colorado Thunderbirds 18U AAA, the Rocky Mountain Wranglers 18U AAA, the Billings Bulls Tier III Junior A and the Helena Bighorns Tier III Junior A.
“After an extensive process and talking with several qualified candidates, we went with the individual who best fit the mold of what we are looking for in a head coach to lead our organization during our inaugural season.” said Blizzard General Manager Stu Bertrand. “Eddie’s love and passion for the game of hockey, his eagerness to ensure a successful return of hockey to Billings, and his overall preparedness really made him stand out during the interview process.
After his playing days LaPera accepted a job as Marketing Director for the Billings Bulls Junior Hockey Club. While working for the Bulls, he got his first taste of coaching by helping with both the Junior team as well as the 16U AAA team during practice, as well as being available to fill in on the bench when needed.
LaPera also had the opportunity to work as a coach at the Montana Amateur Hockey League Player Development Camp, as well as the Northern Plains District Development Camp.
Most recently, LaPera coached the Billings Bulls High School hockey team during the 2020-2021 season.
"This team is ready to launch, and I can’t wait to get to work with Eddie to turn this into something special for the city of Billings.” Bertrand said. “We will be formally announcing the hire and other details at a press conference to be held at the Billings Sports Plex on Wednesday March 23."