Rapid City Names GM & Head Coach

The Rapid City, S.D., an expansion team that will begin play in the Central Hockey League in the 2008-09 season held a press conference Thursday afternoon to introduce their first two employees, a Head Coach and General Manager.

Joe Ferras was hired as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, while Jason Rent was named General Manager. The press conference was held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, where a new 5,000-plus-seat arena is being built for the hockey team. The arena is scheduled to open in December 2008.

“We’re excited to have Rapid City join the Central Hockey League, and we look forward to watching the franchise develop as they prepare to drop the puck next fall,” said Duane Lewis, CHL V.P. of Operations.

Rapid City Professional Hockey, LLC, owners Scott Mueller, Barry Peterson and Donny Ward were in attendance. Rick Kozuback, CEO of Global Entertainment, the CHL’s parent company, attended the press conference along with Lewis and Curtis Valentine, the CHL’s Director of Business Operations.

“Rapid City is going to be a great hockey town and we are thrilled to hire two great people for these key positions,” said Mueller. “Their previous CHL experiences and commitment to their local communities made them ideal choices to lead our franchise.”

Ferras, a native of Brantford, Ontario, has spent 13 years as a professional hockey player and eight years as a coach. After beginning his head coaching career with the Amarillo Rattlers during the 2001-02 season, Ferras took over the renamed Amarillo Gorillas and guided them to 30-plus-win seasons and the playoffs four consecutive times. Ferras has a career record of 161-132-23 as a CHL Coach.

In 2006, Ferras was hired by the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders to work as an Assistant Coach with the Islanders’ top affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

In 2003-04 CHL season, Ferras was the recipient of the Rick Kozuback Award for perseverance and commitment to the game, sport and business of hockey. He was also a runner-up for CHL Coach of the Year honors that season.

Rent arrives in Rapid City after spending the last seven seasons as the General Manager of the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. During his time there, the Mudbugs enjoyed success both on and off the ice, winning a Ray Miron President’s Cup, as CHL Champions in 2000-01 and being named the Central Hockey League’s Franchise of the Year in 2005-06.

Rent has also worked for the Lubbock Cotton Kings and the Amarillo Rattlers of the Western Professional Hockey League and the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. A graduate of the University of Guelph (Ontario), where he played hockey, Rent and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Sydney and Gracie.

Rapid City will open its hockey offices and launch a name-the-team contest in mid-August. For ticket information, please contact Rapid City Professional Hockey at 605-716-PUCK (7825). You can get all the latest news on the team at www.rapidcityprohockey.com.


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