The Jacksonville IceMen announced yesterday that the record holder for the most career coaching wins in the ECHL, Jason Christie, will lead the on ice organization as Vice President of Hockey Operations and Head Coach. With over a decade of coaching in the ECHL, Christie leads the league with a record 547 coaching wins. Throughout his ECHL coaching career, Christie has led teams to the Kelly Cup Playoffs 11 of 14 seasons.
“When we announced the formation of the Jacksonville IceMen in February, we said we are committed to winning immediately,” explained IceMen President Bob Ohrablo. “When you are able to sign an ECHL coaching legend that has a proven track record as Jason does, that’s your man.”
Christie began his pro-level hockey career in 1991 playing for former ECHL team, the Columbus Chill. As a tough, hardworking forward, he accumulated 146 goals and 230 assists (376 points) and 1,122 penalty minutes (PIM) in 555 games spread out over the ECHL, American Hockey League and the International Hockey Leagues. Christie retired as a player and began coaching the Peoria Rivermen (ECHL) during the 1999-2000 season. Eventually, Christie went on to coach other ECHL teams including: the former Ontario Reign, the Utah Grizzlies and most recently the Tulsa Oilers.
“I am excited to bring my experience, recruiting network and, most importantly, a winning culture to the Jacksonville IceMen,” said Christie. “After learning about the incredible reception the team has gotten from the community and the ownership’s commitment to winning on the ice, I can’t wait to get started. I am committed to bringing Jacksonville fans a competitive culture and an exciting team.”
Christie’s first task will be securing an NHL affiliate which will be announced in early July. The Jacksonville IceMen begin their inaugural ECHL season at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (JVMA) on Saturday, October 14thagainst in-state rival, the Orlando Solar Bears. The IceMen will play a 72 game schedule with 36 games at the JVMA, which include 22 Friday and Saturday nights. Full and partial season ticket memberships are available by visiting JacksonvilleIceMen.com or call 904-602-7825.