FAIRBANKS, ALASKA- Ice Dogs General Manager Rob Proffitt today announced Ryan Theros as the fifth head coach in program history. Theros comes to the Dogs from the Yellowstone Quake of the NA3HL, where he was named interim head coach and general manager in November of 2022. Theros served as head coach and GM for the Quake from 2015-2018, guiding the team to a 129-23-5 record in three seasons.
Theros served as an assistant coach for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL from 2018-2019, and as an associate head coach of the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) from 2019-2020.
“We are very excited to welcome Ryan to the Ice Dog family,” Proffitt said. “I have known him on a personal and professional level for several years and have the utmost confidence in him leading our club.”
“I’m honored and thank Prof and the organization for the opportunity to be the next head coach of the Ice Dogs,” Theros said. “I want to continue to build on what the great coaches before me have done to develop what it means to be an Ice Dog.”
Theros describes the great history and success of the program, both on and off the ice, as key factors in his interest in the head coaching position.
“It’s been an organization that I have always wanted to be a part of and felt it would be a great fit for me,” Theros said. “Excited to be a part of a great organization that does a lot of the right things for the players, fans, staff, scouts and everyone involved.”
A native of Two Harbors, Minnesota, Theros served as the director of on-ice operations and a hockey performance instructor for the Velocity Hockey Center in Eden Prairie beginning in 2010. He transitioned to seasonal work at the performance center in 2015 when he accepted the head coaching job with the Quake. Theros is a big believer in developing the player mentally and physically, not only on the ice as a hockey player in individual skills and team concepts, but also as a person.
“Need to teach and push players out of their comfort zone to earn and want more,” Theros said. “This comes from working with them and holding them accountable as an individual and as a group.”
Proffitt began the search for a new head coach at the conclusion of the Ice Dogs’ 2022-23 regular season, and it became clear quickly that Theros was the right candidate.
“Ryan’s experience, success and connectivity in the game will prove fruitful as we take the next step toward the future of the organization,” Proffitt said. “He began scouting for us in 2022, which gives him a baseline of understanding in the players we have recruited for the upcoming season.”
Assistant Coach Dakota Bell remains on staff and will serve in the same capacity under Theros. Proffitt says Bell has been instrumental in preparing for off-season camps, beginning with Futures Camp in late May and Main Camp in mid-July in preparation for the 27th season of Ice Dogs hockey. Theros says he looks forward to working with Bell and the scouting staff, which he describes as a huge part of the team’s success on the ice.