AUSTIN, Minn. – Assistant Coach and Director of Player Personnel Keenan Kelly is leaving the Austin Bruins for a similar position with the New Mexico Ice Wolves the team announced on Wednesday.
Kelly has been a mainstay on the Bruins coaching staff for the past four seasons and served under two Head Coaches including Kyle Grabowski and current Head Coach Steve Howard. In four years with Kelly as an assistant, the Bruins went 138-95-12-15 and made the postseason three times. He joins one of the newest teams in the NAHL after the league announced an expansion back in February.
“I am very fortunate to have spent the last four seasons with the Austin Bruins. I am proud to have been a part of the Bruins organization and to have worked alongside some great people. I want to thank head coaches Steve Howard and Kyle Grabowski for everything I’ve learned during the two years I worked for each of them. I’m grateful for the support shown by owners, Craig Patrick and Mike Cooper and for the friendships formed with the rest of the hockey operations and business operations staff. Thank you to the players, billets, fans for making my time in Austin an unforgettable experience. I look forward to the continued success of the Bruins and aim to bring the same winning tradition to the New Mexico Ice Wolves,” said Kelly.
The Boise, Idaho native got his coaching start in 2009-10 with the Idaho Jr. Steelheads in the WSHL. After a couple of seasons with the Jr. Steelheads, Kelly advanced to the collegiate ranks where he worked for Northern Michigan University as a student assistant for four seasons. It was in 2015-16 when Kelly landed in Austin with the Bruins. Kelly coached for two seasons under former Head Coach Kyle Grabowski and remained with the team once Steve Howard came on board as the team’s new and most recent head coach.
“Keenan will be missed and I’ve enjoyed having him as an assistant for the last two seasons. He really helped me with my transition to the Bruins and the NAHL. We will look forward to seeing him around and wish him all the best in his new job,” said Head Coach Howard.
Co-owner Mike Cooper elaborated, “We want to thank Keenan Kelly for his four years of being an integral part of our organization. We wish him nothing but the best with the NM Wolves who are getting a great coach and an even better person.”
Candidates for the Austin Bruins assistant coaching job have already been identified as the search for Kelly’s replacement is already underway. As the Bruins offseason begins, season tickets for the 2019-2020 season are available now. It’s the best way to catch the Bruins this coming season with tickets at less than $7 per game. Contact the Bruins front office to get your season tickets today at 507-434-4978.