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For Immediate Release

March 21, 2024

Saanichton, B.C. - BC Hockey is proud to announce the Male U16 hockey staff for the 2024 Program of Excellence (POE) season led by head coach Riley Emmerson and assistant coaches Dan Cioffi and James Pollock.

Emmerson will take the reigns as bench boss for Team BC after serving as an assistant on last year’s squad that competed at the WHL Cup. Emmerson has five years of head coaching experience after wrapping up a 10-year professional hockey career.

"We are thrilled to have Riley Emmerson as the head coach of the Male U16 POE program for the 2024 season" Commissioner, Program of Excellence Fred Zweep said. "We believe that Riley and his staff will do a fantastic job in developing the players and getting them ready for the WHL Cup."

Please see below for staff bios.

Regional Camps are set to begin this weekend across the province. After the completion of Regional Camps, a selection of players will be invited to move on to the BC Cup, which will take place April 18-21, 2024 in Salmon Arm, B.C.. Following the BC Cup, a number of players will be selected to move to the Provincial Camp stage in Chilliwack, B.C. from July 28 - August 1.

The final roster will see 20 players selected to represent Team BC at the 2024 WHL Cup in Red Deer, Alberta.

Riley Emmerson

Head Coach

Hometown: Abbotsford, B.C.

2024-25 Team: Fraser Valley Thunderbirds U15 AAA (BCEHL)

Background: Riley Emmerson has become a staple behind the bench in the British Columbia Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) over the last five seasons. Most recently, the 38-year-old has led the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds’ U15 AAA team (2022-24) including capturing the U15 AAA Championship for the 2023-24 season. Prior to his time with the Thunderbirds, he oversaw the coaching duties for the Valley West Giants’ U15 AAA team from 2019 to 2022. Emmerson’s coaching career began in the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom where he served as a player-coach for the Edinburgh Capitals during the 2015-16 season.

The Abbotsford, B.C. native began his playing career with Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association, and worked his way to the VIJHL with the Campbell River Storm. Emmerson helped the Storm capture the 2002-03 VIJHL championship. The 6-8 blueliner then made his way to the Western Hockey League where he plied his trade with the Tri-City Americans for two seasons before turning professional. Emmerson was drafted in 2005 by the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild (Round 7 – 199th overall).

Emmerson’s pro career would see him split time between the American Hockey League and the ECHL over his first five seasons. The following three years would see his pro career continue in the ECHL and Central Hockey League before he headed across the pond to Edinburgh for his final two years. Over his 10 seasons professional hockey, Emmerson competed in 499 career games (regular season and playoffs).

James Pollock

Assistant Coach

Hometown: Victoria, B.C. 

2024-25 Team: Shawnigan Lake School U15 Prep (CSSHL)

Background: James Pollock joins the Team BC bench for the first time this season. Pollock has been a member of the coaching staff at the U15 and U18 levels at Shawnigan Lake School since the 2014-15 season.

Prior to coaching, Pollock had a successful playing career. The Victoria native was a fourth-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the 1997 NHL Draft, and played 15 seasons professionally in the NHL, American Hockey League, and in top divisions in Switzerland, Germany and Russia. Away from the rink, Pollock is a house director and guidance counsellor at Shawnigan Lake School.


Dan Cioffi

Assistant Coach

Hometown: Langley, B.C.

2022-23 Team: Burnaby Winter Club U15 Prep (CSSHL)

Background: This will be the first season behind a Team BC bench for Dan Cioffi. He currently serves as the head coach of the U15 Prep team at Burnaby Winter Club, as well as the Director of Operations at Burnaby Winter Club. Cioffi has volunteered with the Program of Excellence as an evaluator and coach at regional camps and the BC Cup since 2017.

The Langley, B.C. native has been involved in coaching for over 20 years, and has held roles with the Valley West Giants (BCEHL), Delta Ice Hawks (PJHL), North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association, Banff Hockey Academy (CSSHL) and the Carleton Ravens Women's Hockey Team (USports). Cioffi is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and possesses a bachelor's degree in Human Kinetics.