Rush Extend Head Coach Joe Ferras through 2014-15
(Rapid City, SD) – The Rapid City Rush announced on Friday that it has extended Head Coach Joe Ferras’ contract through the 2014-15 season. Ferras is among the winningest coaches in CHL history and has guided the Rush to the second-most wins over the past three seasons, including a 2010 Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship.
The 2012-13 season will be Ferras’ 10th as a head coach in the CHL where he has compiled a 304-223-49 record for a .570 win percentage. In the last three seasons in Rapid City, Ferras has guided the Rush to an impressive 121-58-17 record and a .661 win percentage.
“I am extremely happy to announce that Joe has been given a well deserved contract extension. This will ensure that he is here for at least another 3 seasons, and myself and our ownership group could not be happier. Joe is one of the best recruiters I have ever been involved with, and his dedication to serve the Black Hills community has been very inspiring. He will continue to put a competitive product on the ice, but more importantly a team that will extend themselves to community involvement in the entire Black Hills!”
Despite being besieged by injuries this past year, Ferras guided the Rush to a 38-win campaign that featured numerous individual career-high seasons by players. On February 24th, in a 4-1 win over the Quad City Mallards, Ferras surpassed Garry Unger to become the 6th winningest coach in CHL history, and later became only the 6th coach to reach 300 CHL wins.
Prior to last season, the Brantford, Ontario native led the Rush to back-to-back 40-win seasons, including consecutive Conference Finals appearances. In the 2009-10 regular season, Ferras guided the Rush to a personal and franchise best 43 wins, earning a Northern Conference regular season title. The conference title and playoff berth were both firsts for the young franchise. For his efforts, Ferras was named CHL Coach of the Year. In the postseason, Ferras guided the Rush through three rounds and an eventual Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship, becoming the fourth team in league history to win the championship in only its second season.
“The Rapid City Rush is a first class organization, beginning with the ownership group and I want to personally thank Scott Mueller, Barry Peterson and Donny Ward for having continued confidence in me and the opportunity to guide this franchise into the future,” said Ferras. “It’s a tremendous place to not only coach, but to call home. The organization and entire town has been amazing to my wife Aynsley and I since day one. With the way that this city has welcomed the Rush into the fabric of the community, Rapid City has become one of the premier places to play in all of ‘AA’ hockey. Our goal has always been the same, to construct a quality product that will give us an opportunity to win a championship and bring in quality people that the community of Rapid City will be proud of.”
Ferras began his head coaching career in 2001 with the Amarillo Rattlers and later took the newly named Gorillas to four consecutive trips to the playoff. At that point, only one other coach in CHL history (Terry Ruskowski - Laredo Bucks) had this accomplishment on his resume. In 2003-2004, Ferras was the recipient of the Rick Kozuback Award for perseverance and commitment to the game, sport, and business of hockey. In that same year, Ferras was runner-up for the Coach of the Year Award. Following the success Ferras enjoyed coaching in Amarillo, he signed with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League in the summer of 2006 to be an Assistant Coach with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.
Prior to coaching, Joe Ferras enjoyed an excellent playing career that was highlighted by four years at Plattsburgh State University in which he shattered virtually every scoring record including the top scorer in NCAA history that still stands today. Ferras was a two-time All-American and his number was retired by Plattsburgh in 2002.
In 1988, Ferras began his professional hockey career by signing a free-agent contract with the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings (Affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings) that went on to win the Calder Cup Championship in 1991. In his 13 years as a professional, Ferras played several years in the top leagues in Europe including Italy and England and also played in the ECHL with Richmond Renegades and Winston-Salem Thunderbirds.