Ice Bears name Craigen team's new coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An old name is now the new coach of the Knoxville Ice Bears.

Monday afternoon, the Ice Bears named former player Mike Craigen as the club's new head coach.

Craigen skated for the Bears for five seasons, winning two SPHL championships along the way.

“I couldn’t be happier or more excited to be returning to Knoxville to help grow hockey in the South and lead this organization back to excellence on and off the ice," Craigen said. "Kevin (Swider, director of hockey operations) and I are already working diligently towards putting together an entertaining, passionate and successful hockey team that we can all be proud of.”

Craigen spent the previous year as the assistant of Central Canadian Hockey League’s Peterborough Stars.

Ice Bears president and general manager Mike Murray says the organization received over 40 resumes for the position and interviewed ten to 15 of them.

“After evaluating the vast range of qualifications all the applicants were bringing to Knoxville, there were intangibles that separated Mike from the group,” Murray said.

In recognition for Craigen’s return to Knoxville, the Ice Bears will run a special “buy one get one free” season ticket in any row 16 of the arena. The row number is the same number the Ice Bears new coach wore during his playing days in Knoxville.

Craigen replaces Marc Rodgers, who coached just one season with the Ice Bears.

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