Coyotes Fire Francis

Archived from 2003-04 season.
Feb 24, 2004

NHL teams

The struggling Phoenix Coyotes fired head coach Bob Francis on Tuesday and named assistant coach Rick Bowness interim coach.

"We felt that it was time for a change in direction," general manager Michael Barnett said. "Sometimes, good coaches get replaced. Bob is a good coach and we wish him all the best in the future."

The Coyotes have won just two of their last 14 games and are in last place in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference with a record of 20-24-15-3.

Francis was named Coyotes coach in June 1999 and compiled a 165-144-60-21 record. He is the franchise leader in victories and games coached. He was the NHL's coach of the year after leading the Coyotes to a 40-27-9-6 record in 2001-02.

"Rick is a proven NHL coach with a wealth of hockey knowledge," Barnett said. "He is an excellent communicator and has a good history of working with young players. We are confident that Rick and his coaching staff will do a great job in preparing our players as we strive to make the playoffs."

Bowness, a fifth-year assistant with Phoenix, has coached four NHL teams. He led the Winnipeg Jets (1988-89), Boston Bruins (1991-92), Ottawa Senators (1992-96) and the New York Islanders (1996-98).

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