CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – The Corpus Christi IceRays, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have named Michael Lysyj as the team’s new head coach, IceRays president Cassidy Lange announced today.
“We are excited to have someone like Michael taking over as the bench boss of the IceRays,” said Lange. With him having extensive history in both professional hockey and junior hockey, I have no doubt that he is the right person to lead the IceRays to a Robertson Cup.”
Lysyj, 32, spent last season on the bench as an assistant coach for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. Lysyj was responsible for the Buccaneer’s Power Play that finished 5th in the league at a 21.5% success rate.
Previously, Lysyj spent the 2019-2020 season with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. The Silvertips led the WHL that season in wins (46) and finished one point shy of the Scotty Munro Trophy (most points in the WHL regular season) at 46-13-3-1 (96 points), before the league’s conclusion of the season in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019-2020 Silvertips team has since seen 6 players sign NHL Entry Level Contracts.
Lysyj has spent time as an assistant coach in the NCAA ranks at Division I (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Division III (SUNY Fredonia) recruiting and developing players. In his final season at SUNY Fredonia the 5thseeded Blue Devils made an impressive run to the SUNYAC Final where they ultimately fell short of the Conference Championship.The former forward made his pro debut with an assist in six games with the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) in 2012-13 and recorded 30 games split between Peoria and Mississippi (SPHL) in 2013-14. Lysyj spent all four seasons of his collegiate career with SUNY Cortland, registering 77 points (39g-38a) in 96 games and led the Red Dragons with 33 points (18g-15a) in 25 games as a 2012-13 senior.
At first Lysyj believed it was tough to transition from being a player to a coach because of the relationships you build between the players in the locker room. “I think fully transitioning from playing to coaching was tough at first, you miss the camaraderie that comes with being a player. But, eventually you build those relationships around the team and organization and you realize you’re still engulfed in it, and that’s what really makes hockey special.”
Lysyj echoes that he is excited and cannot wait to get to Corpus Christi to build something great for not only the fans, but also the City of Corpus Christi. “ I have learned the importance of work ethic and passion, which I am excited to bring with me to Corpus Christi. I view myself as a student of the game and feel it’s my responsibility to work with our staff to build a rock-solid culture, develop a style of play that will be successful and move our players on to the next level. I am excited to get started.”
IceRays Ownership is excited to have a guy like Michael’s caliber. “We are very happy to be able to add someone of Mike’s pedigree and commitment to player development. We relied heavily on our interview panel and Mike checked all the boxes. We look forward to him creating a culture and standard of IceRays hockey and a pursuit of a Robertson Cup.”
At SUNY Cortland, Lysyj graduated with his B.A. degree in Kinesiology (coaching concentration) in 2013 and earned his M.S. degree in Sports Management & Exercise Science in 2017 while at SUNY Fredonia.