CHARLESTON, S.C. – For many watching the summer coaching carousel, Ryan Warsofsky was a name to watch. Most watchers had penciled in Warsofsky to join former bench boss Spencer Carbery in Hershey. In a surprise announcement Monday, it was announced that Warsofsky would join Mike Vellucci’s staff as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Checkers.
Warsofsky spent the past five years in the Stingrays organization. He served as the assistant coach under Carbery for three seasons starting in 2013 before succeeding his predecessor in 2016. In his two years as head coach, he compiled a record of 88-44-10-2. During his tenure in Charleston, the Stingrays appeared in two Kelly Cup finals (one as a head coach) and won three Eastern Conference Championships (one regular-season, two playoffs.) He was an assistant coach during the ECHL record-breaking 23-game win streak in the 2014-15 season.
Under Warsofsky, the Stingrays defense became well known for its hardnose, blue-collar efforts. In 2017-18, his second year as a head coach, the Stingrays set several defensive league records. The Stingrays set new ECHL marks in fewest goals allowed, lowest goals against average and allowing the fewest power play goals in a season. The team was exceptionally potent on the penalty kill stopping the man advantage at a blistering 90.5% rate.
In a press release, Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell said,
“Ryan has had a lot of success for a young coach. We’re excited to have him work with our prospects in Charlotte.”
Stingrays President Rob Concannon had this to say,
“I would like to thank Ryan for his passion and commitment to our organization over the last 5 years. Over that time, I’ve enjoyed watching him grow into one of the brightest young coaches in hockey. This is a tremendous and deserving opportunity. I will miss working with Ryan and Todd (Halloran) and I wish him and his wife Caroline the best of luck in Charlotte.
The Stingrays have announced the search for the next head coach is already underway. Traditionally, the Stingrays have promoted from within. This would leave Steve Bergin as the heir apparent. However, several other candidates are expected to apply. There was wide interest two years ago for the head and assistant coaching positions. With the Stingrays under new ownership, it is yet unseen as to whether they will continue to promote from within or seek a new face to lead the 2018-19 Stingrays.
The South Carolina Stingrays are becoming more prominent in the NHL and AHL coaching ranks. Former player and coach Jared Bednar currently serves as the head coach for the Colorado Avalanche. Carbery and former Stingray Cail MacLean are bench bosses for the Hershey Bears and Stockton Heat respectively. Several former players serve as assistants in the AHL as well. Aaron Schneekloth is an assistant with the Colorado Eagles, same with Patrick Wellar, who won a Kelly Cup along Spencer Carbery in South Carolina in 2008. Wellar was recently named Carbery’s assistant in Hershey.
Scott Ford also just finished a three-year tenure as an assistant with the Milwaukee Admirals. Additionally, former player and coach Jason Fitzsimmons serves as a scout and Director of Minor League Operations for the Washington Capitals.
Stay with The Sin Bin as we bring you any developments related to the Stingrays’ coaching search.