NORTH CHARLESTON, SC- After eight years in the Lowcountry, including five seasons as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the South Carolina Stingrays, Spencer Carbery has accepted a new challenge. The Stingrays announced today that Carbery has been named the Head Coach of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Carbery, a 2009 Kelly Cup Champion as a player with the Stingrays, will be formally introduced at a press conference in Saginaw next week. He leaves South Carolina as the winningest coach in club history.
“Bittersweet is the word that would describe my feelings today,” said Carbery. “This is a great move for my coaching career, however, it doesn’t make it any easier to leave this great city and organization that I love so dearly. I am so grateful to the Zucker family, Rob Concannon, the Charleston community, and all the players I’ve had the pleasure of coaching in South Carolina. I will be forever indebted for what this first-class organization has provided me.”
“For the past six years I have had the pleasure of working closely with Spencer Carbery on a regular basis,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. “I have enjoyed watching him grow and develop into one of the premier young coaches in the hockey world. Our organization cannot thank Spencer enough for his work ethic and contributions. We will miss his passion and determination, both on and off the ice. Our owners and I are very happy for Spencer and his family. We are confident that he will do a great job in Saginaw as he embarks on his new position, and we wish him nothing but the best.”
“Spencer has been an excellent coach, assistant coach, captain, player, and a valued member of the Stingrays’ family since he arrived,” said Stingrays owner Anita Zucker. “He and his wife Casey, as well as their children, will be missed. We wish Spencer and his family continued success in Saginaw.”
With Saginaw, Carbery will join a junior hockey franchise with an impressive list of alumni now playing in the NHL. The Spirit, based in Saginaw, Michigan, have graduated 17 players to the NHL since the club’s inception in 2002, including Stanley Cup Champion Brandon Saad, now with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
While Carbery might be leaving South Carolina, the Lowcountry community has left a lasting impression on the coach.
“This is where both of my kids were born,” said Carbery. “This is where I won a Kelly Cup. Charleston is a place I was so fortunate to experience countless positive moments in my professional and personal life. My words do not do justice for what all the people, the community, and the organization here brought to my life.”
A search for Carbery’s successor is already underway.
“The Zucker family and I have started the process of hiring a new head coach, and we plan on speaking more this week,” said Concannon. “We’ve been very lucky over the last 18 years with coaches like Jason Fitszimmons, Jared Bednar, Cail MacLean and Spencer Carbery who all played for the Stingrays before they became very successful coaches in our organization. We believe Assistant Coach Ryan Warsofsky has done a great job over the last three seasons and is a leading candidate for the head coach position.”
Spencer Carbery By The Numbers:
• In his five seasons at the helm, Carbery compiled a 207-115-38 record with the Stingrays.
• He was the winner of the John Brophy Award as the ECHL’s Coach of the Year in 2014, and was the runner-up for the award in 2015 and 2016.
• South Carolina qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of Carbery’s five seasons as head coach, and he helped guide the Stingrays to a pair of division titles, and Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2015 and 2016.
• Carbery’s 2014-15 team registered an ECHL-record 23-game win streak during the regular season and advanced to the 2015 Kelly Cup Finals.
• This past season, Carbery guided the Stingrays to a 44-18-7-3 record, good for 98 points, the second most in the 23-year history of the organization. In each of the five seasons under Carbery’s direction, the Stingrays improved their point total.
• Prior to moving behind the bench, Carbery completed his playing career with South Carolina, skating in two seasons with the club from 2008-10, scoring 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 94 regular season games with the Stingrays, in addition to 259 penalty minutes.
• He also appeared in 28 playoffs games, scoring 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the team’s run to the 2009 Kelly Cup Championship.
• Additionally, Carbery was honored as the recipient of the Jerry Zucker Community Service Award in 2009.