Monday, November 23, 2009

San Antonio Rampage announce coaching change

Due to a 10 game losing streak that dates back to an October 23 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs which has caused them to fall to last place in the West Division. Phoenix Coyotes Assistant GM Brad Treliving announced that head coach Greg Ireland has been fired. Replacing him will be Assistant coach Ray Edwards will be taking the job on an interim basis.

Prior to the Rampage firing Ireland, the team has struggled mightily in recent years as the team finished last in the West last season with a record of 36-38-6 for 78 points, despite just being 8 points back of the Rockford Icehogs who had the last spot in the West, the Rampage weren't able to make a turnaround in an orderly matter.

For Assistant coach Ray Edwards, this is his 3rd season as assistant coach where he coaching experience in the ECHL and the CHL. During his time with the San Angelo, he was named the leagues coach of the year back in 2004. In the ECHL, he was with the Huntington Blizzard where he began his coaching career back in 1998 where he also had a short playing career, in which he played in a little over 300 games from 1991-1998 during his playing career.

The last time the Rampage made the playoffs in the 2007-08 season where they lost to the Toronto Marlies in 7 games in the 1st round. Since the team was founded in 2002, they have only one other year they were in the post season and that was in the 2002-2003 season before losing to the Norfolk Admirals

Coming along to help out the Rampage is Mike Pelino will join the staff as the new assistant coach. During Pelino's coaching career with the NY Rangers and the Florida Panthers from the 2003-2009 and has coached Team Canada at different levels winning 11 medals during that time.

Most noteworthy was in 2002 where he was the assistant coach of the Canadian Olympic Team in Salt Lake City, where despite a slow start in the group stage by going 1-1-1, the Canadians came back in the Knockout stage with wins over Finland in the QFS, Belarus in the SFS and then beating archrival Canada in the Final.

It's going to be a lot of work to turnaround the Rampage season as the Texas Stars continue to run away with the West Division and ending a 10 game losing streak. Other teams they will need to contend with is the Houston Aeros, the Chicago Wolves who have been able to turn around after a slow start of the season. In addition, the Peoria Rivermen who are looking to return after being upset by the Houston Aeros in the West Division Semifinals last season.

Coming up for the Rampage: With 4 of their next 5 at home, this will give a chance for the new coaching staff to get going on a winning foot. During Thanksgiving week is a pair of games against the struggling Milwaukee Admirals, then the Lone Star Faceoff will come into the spotlight with games coming up with 2 against Houston and a game against the West Division Leading Texas Stars.

11/24: VS. Milwaukee Admirals 7:00 PM

11/28: VS. Milwaukee Admirals 7:00 PM

12/3: @ Houston Aeros 11:00 AM

12/4: VS. Houston Aeros 7:00 PM

12/6: VS. Texas Stars 5:00 PM

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