MACON, Ga. – After a successful rebuild in a span of just two seasons for the Fayetteville Marksmen, the SPHL franchise has a new head coach.
Jesse Kallechy, who coached the Marksmen to being one of the league’s top teams in just his second year in Fayetteville, is moving on to a yet to be named assistant coaching opportunity in the ECHL. Kallechy was named this past season’s SPHL coach of the year.
The announcement took place during a news conference hosted by the team that also included team owner/CEO Chuck Norris.
“This is a huge day for me, both personally and professionally,” Kallechy said during a news conference hosted by the Marksmen. “Thank you to Chuck and Lanai Norris for giving me the chance to be a head coach for the first time when I had no experience as a head coach.”
Before coming to Fayetteville, Kallechy was an assistant coach for the Huntsville Havoc.
Kallechy will be replaced by Cory Melkert who served as Fayetteville’s assistant coach this past season after playing for Kallechy for the Marksmen the season before as a defenseman to cap off three seasons in the SPHL with four different teams.
“I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face for a couple of days, here. It’s obviously exciting,” Melkert said. “We’ve been able to accomplish some pretty good things. My job will be to continue that progression and accomplish the goal of hoisting a banner. I’m excited and can’t wait to get the guys here and get going.”
“We’ve been able to accomplish some pretty good things. my job will be to continue that progression and accomplish the goal of hoisting a banner. I’m excited and can’t wait to get the guys here and get going.” – Marksmen head coach Corey Melkert
Kallechy moving on is bittersweet for Fayetteville. While it’s a point of pride to see someone that was part of the rebuild that began two years ago from practically day one, there’s also a void that’ll be left, one that Melkert is now tasked with filling and keeping the Marksmen near the top of the SPHL.
“Jesse was definitely ready to take head coach role. He didn’t disappoint at all. He really straightened out a big mess in our hockey operations department and could not have done a better job,” Norris said. “This a business that we’re in. Guys come in at this level that want to be ambitious and move up and this is a great opportunity for him. We take pride in moving people on.”
Added Norris: “When you lose someone who has been here basically since the start of my tenure as team president…the bond will be difficult to break. At the end of the day, Jesse has left this organization in a way better spot than when he got here.”
“When you lose someone who has been here basically since the start of my tenure as team president…the bond will be difficult to break. At the end of the day, Jesse has left this organization in a way better spot than when he got here,” Norris Concluded.
Keep track of all the signings and movement during the 2020 SPHL offseason by visiting our ECHL Transactions page!
Brad Harrison is the SPHL Editor for The Sin Bin. Follow Brad on Twitter for the latest on the SPHL and the Macon Mayhem! Also, follow The Sin Bin on both Facebook and Twitter for all the latest AHL, ECHL, and SPHL minor league hockey coverage!