Knoxville Ice Bears
Knoxville Ice Bears logo new
City: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
League: Atlantic Coast Hockey League
(2002 - 2003)
South East Hockey League
(2003 - 2004)
Southern Professional Hockey League
(2004 - Present)
Founded: 2002
Home Arena: James White Civic Coliseum
Colors: Black, Purple, Orange
General Manager: Mike Murray
Head Coach: Vacant
Media: Knoxville News-Sentinel
Franchise history
2002–present: Knoxville Ice Bears
Regular Season Titles: 4 (2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09)
Playoff Championships: 4 (2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2014-15)

The Knoxville Ice Bears are a professional ice hockey team. The team competes in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). They play their home games at James White Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States.


The Knoxville Ice Bears were founded in 2002 as a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League. After finishing as runner-up to the Orlando Seals in the 2002–03 season, the Ice Bears moved to the new South East Hockey League. Again, they finished as a runner-up in the playoffs to the Huntsville Channel Cats for 2003–04. In 2004, The team again changed hockey leagues and joined the new Southern Professional Hockey League. In the SPHL's first season, the Ice Bears won the regular season championship Commissioner's Cup, but lost in the second round of the playoffs (after a first round bye) to the eventual champions, the Columbus Cottonmouths.

In 2005–06, the Ice Bears secured the Commissioner's Cup and the President's Cup by beating the Florida Seals in game four of a best-of-five series. In 2006–07, the team was eliminated in the league semifinals with two straight losses to the Fayetteville FireAntz. In 2007–08, the Ice Bears once again secured the Commissioner's Cup, now renamed the William B. Coffey Trophy. In the 2008 President's Cup playoffs, the Ice Bears won again. Rookie goalie Kirk Irving took home playoff MVP honors. The President Cup title was the Ice Bears' second in three years.

In 2008–09, the Ice Bears again won the William B. Coffey Trophy. The Ice Bears also won their second straight President's Cup.

On May 29, 2009, it was announced that head coach Scott Hillman had resigned to be the first coach of the Central Hockey League's expansion team in Independence, Missouri.[1][2] Marc Rodgers took over in June 2009 after Hillman's departure.

On March 27, 2010, a line brawl erupted between the Ice Bears and rival Fayetteville FireAntz. A total of 19 players were ejected. In the third period with the Ice Bears winning 5–3, few players remained. The Ice Bears then took a 9–4 lead. The game was declared a forfeit at 10:45 of the third period, as the FireAntz had two skaters remaining after several FireAntz players intentionally drew penalties so their team would not have enough players to play. There were a total of 26 games in suspensions handed out between all the ejected players.

In the 2009–10 season, the Ice Bears finished fourth out of seven teams. They went to the playoffs to face the FireAntz in a best-of-three series in the first round. The Ice Bears' back-to-back regular season and league championship run came to an end on April 9, 2010, when they were defeated 3–1 in game two by the eventual playoff champions, the Huntsville Havoc.

After the 2009–10 season, Ice Bears' star and SPHL all-time leading scorer Kevin Swider retired. On July 12, 2010, Swider was named Ice Bears' director of hockey operations and youth hockey school director. Swider won every scoring title from 2004 to 2010, all six years of the SPHL's existence to that point. Swider came out of retirement in the summer of 2011.

On June 29, 2010, head coach Marc Rodgers and the Ice Bears parted ways. It was not clear if Rodgers was fired or resigned.

On August 2, 2010, the Ice Bears introduced Mike Craigen as the new head coach. Craigen, a Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada native was a former Ice Bears player from 2004 to 2008. He was a part of Knoxville's 2006 and 2008 President's Cup Championship teams. The 2010–11 season saw the Ice Bears finish sixth out of eight teams.

On October 9, 2012, the team announced that they had partnered with the NHL's Nashville Predators to host a preseason game against Huntsville, at Bridgestone Arena, the Predators home ice, on October 20. The event was free to all Ice Bears season ticket holders.

On April 18, 2015, the Ice Bears won their fourth Presidents Cup, ending a six-year drought. Ice Bears' goalie Bryan Hince took home the SPHL Playoffs MVP Award after winning his last five starts in the playoffs and allowing less than two goals per game.

Year by Year ResultsEdit

Season GP W L OL Pts GF GA Finish Playoffs
2002–03 59 36 21 2 74 - - 2nd of 6 ACHL W, SF 3-0 (Parrots)
L, F 0-3 (Seals)
2003–04 56 26 30 - 52 201 195 3rd of 4 SEHL W, SF 2-0 (Fire Antz)
L, F 0-3 (Channel Cats)
2004–05 56 34 22 - 68 235 185 1st of 8, SPHL QF bye 
L, SF 0-2 (Cottonmouths)
2005–06 56 36 14 6 78 262 192 1st of 7, SPHL W, QF 3-1 (Cyclones)
SF bye
W, F 3-1 (Seals)

President's Cup Champions
2006-07 56 33 19 4 70 219 185 T-2nd of 8, SPHL W, QF 2-1 (Renegades)
L, SF 0-2 (Fire Antz)
2007–08 52 32 16 4 68 199 169 1st of 7, SPHL W, QF 3-2 (Cottonmouths)
SF bye
W, F 3-0 (Barracudas)

President's Cup Champions
2008-09 60 35 16 9 79 216 171 1st of 6, SPHL W, SF 3-2 (Havoc)
W, F 4-3 (Fire Antz)

President's Cup Champions
2009–10 56 30 23 3 63 228 199 4th of 7, SPHL W, QF 2-1 (Fire Antz)
L, SF 0-2 (Havoc)
2010–11 56 27 29 - 54 186 187 6th of 8, SPHL L, QF 2-3 (Surge)
2011–12 56 32 16 8 72 208 170 3rd of 9, SPHL W, QF 2-1 (RiverKings)
L, SF 0-2 (Ice Flyers)
2012–13 56 33 19 4 70 180 157 4th of 9, SPHL W, QF 2-0 (Cottonmouths)
L, SF 0-2 (Ice Flyers)
2013–14 56 25 24 7 57 157 163 T-6th of 10, SPHL W, QF 2-0 (IceGators)
L, SF 1-2 (Ice Flyers)
2014–15 56 31 22 3 65 159 166 5th of 8, SPHL W, QF 2-1 (Cottonmouths)
W, SF 2-0 (IceGators)
W, F 2-1 (RiverKings)

President's Cup Champions
2015–16 56 29 21 6 64 163 165 5th of 9, SPHL L, QF 1-2 (Fire Antz)
2016-17 56 29 20 7 65 175 178 6th of 10, SPHL L, QF 0-2 (Rivermen)
2017-18 56 30 20 6 66 205 182 5th of 10, SPHL W, QF 2-0 (Ice Flyers)
L, SF 0-2 (Rivermen)
2018-19 56 29 22 5 63 169 166 4th of 10, SPHL W, QF 2-0 (Mahyhem)
L, SF 0-2 (Havoc)

General manager historyEdit

Coaching historyEdit

Captain historyEdit


Year League Trophy
2005–06 SPHL President's Cup
2007–08 SPHL President's Cup
2008–09 SPHL President's Cup
2014–15 SPHL President's Cup

The Knoxville Ice Bears have won four William B. Coffey Trophies as the regular season champions and four President's Cup championships as the playoff champions.

Notable former Ice BearsEdit


External linksEdit

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