(Albuquerque, New Mexico) Wednesday, April 24, 2019 – The New Mexico Ice Wolves™ today announced Keenan Kelly was named the team’s Assistant General Manager and Associate Head Coach starting with the 2019-2020 season. Kelly joins previously announced NM Ice Wolves Head Coach and GM Phil Fox as the team continues its preparations for its inaugural season in the NAHL’s Southern Division playing out of Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM.
“High character and accountability is what I want on my staff and Kelly brings exactly that,” said Phil Fox, NM Ice Wolves Head Coach. “I saw Kelly’s keen sense for details and great rapport with players when we worked together at Northern Michigan University so I look forward to his contributions to our scouting operations and player development here at the NM Ice Wolves. His dedication and passion for hockey is exactly what we’re looking for as we continue to grow the sport of hockey in New Mexico and assemble the NM Ice Wolves NAHL Team.”
“I am extremely excited and honored to join the NM Ice Wolves in their inaugural season and I look forward to doing my part in building hockey in New Mexico,” said Keenan Kelly. “Being able to work with Phil Fox again was hard to pass up as we feel we can bring a strong dynamic to the locker room and we both have the experience and dedication to promoting our players to the next level. It has been a long time since I had visited Albuquerque and I’m excited to come back and make this vibrant, beautiful city my new home.”
Kelly is a native of Boise, Idaho and joins the NM Ice Wolves staff after spending the last four seasons with the NAHL’s Austin Bruins serving as Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Coach. During his tenure in Austin, the Bruins made the playoffs in all but one season and advanced to the Division Finals on two occasions. Kelly took part in advancing more than 40 players onto NCAA hockey programs over his four seasons.
Prior to his time in Austin, Keenan spent four seasons working for Northern Michigan University (NCAA-DI WCHA). While at NMU he served as the Student-Assistant Coach, Assistant Director of Hockey Operations, and Video Coordinator working alongside now NM Ice Wolves Head Coach, Phil Fox, from 2014-2015. Before his time at NMU Kelly was an assistant coach for the Idaho Junior Steelheads in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) for two seasons from 2009-11, winning the Thorne Cup in 2011.
Prior to starting his coaching career Kelly played AAA hockey at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan for the storied Notre Dame Hounds program. During the 2007-08 season Kelly was the first out of state captain in program history for the Pikes Peak Miners U16 AAA in Colorado Springs, Colorado and then suffered a career-ending hip injury in the summer of 2008.
The Kelly addition comes on the heels of the team unveiling its new logo which is designed to reflect the team’s home in the Land of Enchantment. The logo incorporates several New Mexico elements including the official state colors which are the red and yellow of Old Spain as well as the icy turquoise eyes that share the color with the state stone. The Zia symbol is quietly reflected in the eyes and highlighted along the snout. The iconic Sandia Mountains are given a nod in the transition from red to yellow across the Ice Wolf’s face as well as on the lower jaw where glistening stars and the moon show off New Mexico’s big, endless and almost always clear skies. Finally, the nose itself pays homage to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta which in modern New Mexico has become our state’s calling card to much of the world.
This past February the New Mexico Ice Wolves were granted an expansion franchise in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) as a new team competing in the league’s South Division beginning in the 2019-2020 season and will play out of Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Outpost Ice Arenas is currently undergoing major renovations prior to the start of the season including bleachers that will be upgraded to provide premium VIP stadium seating, new NHL style plexiglass for seamless viewing, an updated restaurant and snack bar menu, party rooms that will be upgraded for fans and sponsors and a very unique set of connecting ice tunnels that allow fans to watch from the ice while also skating in the auxiliary rink. The Outpost will reopen in mid-May 2019 and all renovations are slated for completion before the NAHL season debuts in October. People interested in season ticket information as soon as it is ready can sign up online at www.NMIceWolves.com to get updates on tickets and other special events.
The New Mexico Ice Wolves NAHL team will announce additional staff and tryout dates in the upcoming weeks, as well as season ticket and sponsorship information. You can learn more about the New Mexico Ice Wolves on their NAHL Team Page or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
For team media inquiries, please contact Aaron Martinez at 505-212-8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org