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Chris Byrne steps out from behind Ottawa 67's bench, continues on as GM

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OTTAWA - Chris Byrne has relinquished his job as head coach of the Ottawa 67's to concentrate on his duties as general manager.

Byrne has begun searching for his replacement for the 2014-15 season when the team returns to the refurbished TD Place at Lansdowne Park.

“I fully support Chris's decision to dedicate 100 per cent of his time to focus his efforts on improving the calibre of our player personnel,” Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group president Jeff Hunt said Monday in a statement.

Byrne, a 39-year-old from Nepean, Ont., took over as head coach and GM of the 67's in 2009. Ottawa reached the conference final in 2012, but have finished out of the playoffs the last two seasons.

"The objective of the 67’s is to consistently win and contend for the Memorial Cup," Byrne said. “That takes time and patience if you start with a young team that gradually improves as players mature, and our team has been the youngest in the OHL for the last two seasons.

"Now it’s time to accelerate our learning curve and improve our quality of play."

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment also owns the CFL expansion Ottawa Redblacks. The 67's have played out of the Canadian Tire Centre for two seasons while the arena and stadium at Lansdowne underwent reconstruction.

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