WICHITA FALLS, TX — The Wichita Falls Warriors are pleased to announce that Keenan Kelly has been named Associate Head Coach.
“I am excited to have Keenan join our coaching staff. He brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and together with his enthusiasm will make a fantastic team alongside Coach Roth,” said Mary Anne Choi, owner of Wichita Falls Warriors.
“Keenan and I have had a great relationship since he began in the league as an assistant coach five years ago. His diligent work ethic and passion for the game will add a tremendous amount to our coaching staff,” Wichita Falls Head Coach Garrett Roth said. “He has a great understanding of the league and how to help develop players on and off the ice. It is important that we make an impact in the community as an organization right from the start and that is something I have confidence that we can do adding Keenan.”
“I am incredibly excited to join the Warriors organization and work alongside Coach Roth,” Kelly said. “We have a long history of being rivals on the ice but have always maintained nothing but respect for each other. I jumped at the opportunity to help Coach Roth build the Warriors into a consistent competitor in the South Division.”
Kelly is a native of Boise, Idaho and joins the Wichita Falls Warriors staff after spending last season with new South Division foe, the New Mexico Ice Wolves. Kelly helped build New Mexico into the South Division and NAHL Organization of the Year in their inaugural season. Before New Mexico, Kelly spent four seasons with the NAHL’s Austin Bruins serving as Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Coach, going head to head with Warriors Head Coach, Garrett Roth.
During his tenure in Austin, the Bruins made the playoffs in all but one season and advanced to the Division Finals on two occasions. Kelly took part in advancing more than 40 players onto NCAA hockey programs over his four seasons.
Prior to his time in the NAHL, Keenan spent four seasons working for Northern Michigan University (NCAA-DI WCHA). While at NMU he served as the Student-Assistant Coach, Assistant Director of Hockey Operations, and Video Coordinator. Before his time at NMU, Kelly was an assistant coach for the Idaho Junior Steelheads in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) for two seasons from 2009-11, winning the Thorne Cup in 2011.
Before beginning his coaching career Kelly played AAA hockey at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan for the storied Notre Dame Hounds program. During the 2007-08 season Kelly was the first out of state captain in program history for the Pikes Peak Miners U16 AAA in Colorado Springs, Colorado and then suffered a career-ending hip injury in the summer of 2008.
“I am thankful for the support from Mary Anne Choi and the rest of the Wichita Falls Warriors for welcoming me to the organization and look forward to making Wichita Falls my new home,” Kelly said. “I am thankful for New Mexico Head Coach, Phil Fox, and New Mexico Owner, Stan Hubbard, for all their support this past season and getting the opportunity to experience the NAHL’s South Division.