Laredo Professional Hockey, which will begin play in the Central Hockey League in October of 2002, has officially tabbed former NHL veteran Terry Rosco Ruskowski as the teams first ever Head Coach and General Manager. The team will play home games at a brand new, state of the art arena currently under construction. Ruskowski enjoyed a 15-year professional playing career hockey as a center/left winger, beginning with the Houston Aeros in 1974. Playing along side all-time great Gordie Howe, Terry brought Houston an AVCO Championship Cup in 1974-75. While playing with the Aeros, Terry was named team captain for two seasons while racking up 251 points in 294 games.
In 1978, Terry joined the Winnipeg Jets where he was a part of another Avco Cup Championship prior to joining the National Hockey Leagues Chicago Blackhawks. His ten-year NHL career also included stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota North Stars. During his decade-long career, Ruskowski amassed 426 points in 629 NHL games. Amazingly, Terry was named team captain in 10 of his 15 year pro seasons, including captaining all four NHL clubs he played with. Having known Terry for many years, I am thrilled that he saw the enormous opportunity that we know exists in Laredo, said team Chairman / Owner Glenn Hart. When we think of the attributes we wanted in a coach, Terrys name was the only one that met all our needs. Terry is the type of individual that will mirror our philosophy and project that out to the community.
In 1991, Terry began his coaching career with the East Coast Hockey Leagues expansion Columbus Chill, emaining until 1994. From 1992-94, his team allowed the fewest shots on goal in the League and in 1993-94, the Chill led the ECHL in scoring with 344 goals. Interestingly enough, while serving as head coach, the Columbus Chill set a minor league sports record by selling out 76 consecutive games. In 1994, Terry moved up to the International Hockey League, joining the Houston Aeros expansion team. While in Houston, the team set IHL attendance and revenue records while Terry guided the team to a 2nd place finish. The team took on the personality of their coach and led the league in penalty killing minutes. Terry is coming to Laredo following a successful stint with the Knoxville Speed of the United Hockey League, earning 2000-2001 honors as the UHLs Coach of the Year. Terry Ruskowski is a proven winner not only on the ice but, more importantly off the ice, said team President / Owner Kiki DeAyala. Terry will build the city of Laredo a team that will be tough, talented and spirited. He is also one of the finest role models found in the world of sports.
Ruskowski grew up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He and his wife Carol have two daughters also actively involved in sports. Jill 19, is in her second year playing volleyball at the University of West Virginia, while Katie, 15, is a high school sophomore. Terry is highly involved in the community and can be seen playing in many charity golf events were he sports his 5 handicap. In addition, he enjoys working with children and teaching the game of hockey, holding instructional camps several times a year.
CHL President Brad Treliving also welcomed Ruskowski to the CHL, noting, Having had the privilege of playing under Terry Ruskowski, I am certainly thrilled to see him joining the Central Hockey League. His commitment to not only his team, but more importantly to his community, will serve as a major asset to both fans in Laredo and to the entire Central Hockey League.