The University of Georgia Hockey Club announced on Tuesday, July 21 assistant coach Steve Beneke will return for the 2015-16 season, marking his 18th season with the team. Along with his assistant coach duties, which primarily focus on the team’s goaltending, Beneke will also serve as Compliance Director.
“I am excited to be returning as Georgia Hockey turns a new corner and begins a new era.” Beneke said. “It’s a new year and new expectations for what I think will be one of the more talented Ice Dog teams I’ve been apart of.”
Prior to joining the Ice Dogs coaching staff, Beneke played his junior and minor professional hockey in the midwest United States and Massachusetts, skating with both Washington Junior Capitals and Baltimore Skipjacks.
Following the conclusion of his playing days, Beneke began his coaching career with the Washington Junior Capitals in Washington, D.C. in 1990.
Following a three-year stint with the Junior Capitals, Beneke headed west to work with the former expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL franchise in 1994 where he worked as the Mighty Ducks in an off -ice capacity. Following his time with Anaheim, Beneke moved back east to Georgia in 1996.
Although Beneke’s playing career was between the pipes as goaltender, he has assisted with all facets of the game for the Ice Dogs, including a nine game stint as head coach of the program during the 2001-02 season. In that stretch, Beneke led the Ice Dogs to a 5-2-2 record, grabbing a 12 of possible 18 points.
Beneke marks the first appointment to the new look Ice Dog coaching staff for 2015-16 season.
“I’m very excited to have Coach Beneke back with the team for this upcoming season,” Ice Dogs Team President Alex Carey said. “He brings a great deal of experience both on and off the ice, which has proven invaluable with the team. He has done a great job with our goaltenders through the years, and he knows what it will take for us to reach our goals this season.”
Beneke is the first appointment to the 2015-16 coaching staff. The rest of the Ice Dogs coaching staff will be named soon. Be sure to check back to UGAHockey.com for updates as the 2015-16 season opener draws near.
The upcoming season marks the program’s 28th year overall and second in the state of the art Classic Center Arena located at the Classic Center in downtown Athens, GA.
To purchase season and single game tickets, fans can visit the Classic Box Office at 300 North Thomas Street, in downtown Athens, GA, call the Classic Center Box at 706-357-4444, or visit the Classic Center’s website, www.classiccenter.com.