RAPID CITY, SD – Six weeks after firing Mark DeSantis, the Rapid City Rush have called a press conference for Thursday evening, where they will announce their third head coach in franchise history.
DeSantis was named the second head coach in team history on February 17, 2016, and was an assistant coach with the Rush before becoming the bench boss in Fayetteville (SPHL,) and Brampton (CHL). During his season-and-a-half behind the Rush bench, DeSantis compiled a record of 38-47-11, and the Rush missed the Kelly Cup Playoffs both seasons.
The announcement will be made around 6 pm MT at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and is open for fans to attend.
The Rush certainly have their pick of the litter when it comes to hiring a proven ECHL coach, with Terry Ruskowski, Rob Murray, Larry Courville all available.
Murray just finished his sixth season behind the bench for the Aces. He finished his coaching stint in Alaska with a 231-150-50 regular-season record, which includes three straight Brabham Cup titles. In addition, Murray had a 27-15 record in the Kelly Cup Playoffs with the Aces, including winning the Kelly Cup in 2014 over the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Courville was fired by the Reading Royals with three games remaining in the regular season after the two sides were not able to come to an agreement on a contract extension. Like Murray, Courville was incredibly successful in his stint behind the bench, compiling a record of 336-207-53 (.563 win pct) in 596 regular season games. He led the Royals to their only Kelly Cup championship in 2013. In each of Courville’s eight full seasons behind the bench, the Royals have made the Kelly Cup Playoffs and are in a position to continue that streak this season. In addition, he led the Royals to seven-straight 80 point-or-better seasons.
Ruskowski is the only coach of the trio to not win a Kelly Cup, but he still has plenty of coaching experience. Under his direction, the Mallards made the Kelly Cup playoffs in their each of their first two seasons in the ECHL, prior to being dismissed on January 20. Ruskowski finished his time in the Quad Cities with a 160-122-31 record, but may be looking for more of an advisory-type position with a team, rather than getting back behind the bench.
Of course, The Sin Bin will have coverage of the announcement on Thursday, so keep checking back.