Spiros Anastas Named Stingrays Head CoachAug 7, 2018
The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced Tuesday that Spiros Anastas (ah-NAS-tis) has been named to the position of Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations. Anastas, 33, becomes the eighth head coach in club history and replaces the outgoing Ryan Warsofsky, who accepted a new position as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers on July 23.
“Although there are big shoes to fill with the departure of Ryan, and we are very happy for Ryan and his new exciting opportunity, we are very confident that we have established a hockey staff that will continue the winning tradition of Stingrays hockey,” said Stingrays Owner Todd Halloran.
“We had a lot of interest in the position and as we diligently went through our process, Spiros emerged as the best candidate for the job given his AHL and collegiate coaching experience, his hockey IQ and his drive and passion for the position," said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. "We truly believe he and returning assistant coach Steve Bergin will complement one another and lead to continued success on the ice.”
Anastas spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Detroit Red Wings affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins from 2012-14 and helped lead the team to the 2013 Calder Cup Championship under head coach Jeff Blashill, who is now the head coach of the Red Wings. Most recently, Anastas served as the head coach for the University of Lethbridge men’s hockey team in Lethbridge, Alberta for four seasons from 2014-18. The University of Lethbridge hockey team competes as part of U Sports, the highest level of play at the university level within Canadian athletics.
“The reputation of the Stingrays organization was a significant factor for me as I contemplated my next professional move,” said Anastas. “They develop great people and players and that was really compelling for me. To see the bond that’s formed between the coaches and management here is very encouraging. Just to be in this kind of environment is always exciting for a coach, and it was an opportunity that I was eager to accept."
Anastas, a native of Toronto, Ontario, played college hockey at Lebanon Valley College from 2006-10, where he was a forward and team captain. He began his coaching career with his alma mater, serving as an assistant coach during the 2010-11 season, before moving on to the University of Western Michigan where he was an assistant coach and video coordinator while working under former NHL head coach Andy Murray. During his only season with the Broncos, Anastas helped the team win their second Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship in program history and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Anastas also spent time as the General Manager of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCHL) before joining Grand Rapids.
“You could tell that Rob and Todd both really care about the people in the Stingrays organization, show a commitment to the community, and have a lot of passion for winning," Anastas said. “I felt comfortable right away and it’s exciting to be in a place where there is such apparent alignment around player development and coaching philosophy."
While at Lethbridge, Anastas was also able to gain significant experience in international hockey, representing three different countries. Last year Anastas was behind the bench as head coach for Estonia at both the IIHF U20 and U18 World Championships. He also won a Silver Medal as the head coach for Hockey Alberta at the WHL Cup in October 2017 and won the 2017 U17 National Development Camp Tournament as an assistant coach for Hockey Canada.
In addition, Anastas has coached South Korea in four different World Championship tournaments. In both 2015 and 2016, he was the country’s head coach at the IIHF U18 World Junior Championship as well as an assistant coach at the IIHF World Championship. Both teams he coached for South Korea in 2015 won gold medals at their respective championships.
"A new head coach is just one element of some of the several new and exciting developments that we have in store for the Stingrays organization and its fans as we prepare for the upcoming season," Halloran said.
The 26th season of South Carolina Stingrays hockey begins in Jacksonville against the Icemen on October 13. The Stingrays will open their home schedule versus Greenville on Saturday, October 20.
Season tickets are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248 or visit 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.
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