INDIANAPOLIS – The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, announced prior to Friday night’s game that Bernie John has been named the club’s Head Coach and VP of Hockey Operations, effective immediately.
John becomes the second bench boss in Indy franchise history. The 43-year-old has spent each of the last two seasons in the Fuel organization, starting as an assistant coach before being appointed the club’s interim head coach on March 7, 2016. In 11 games at the helm, John has led Indy to a 4-6-1-0 record.
“The primary goal of the Indy Fuel organization is to make the playoffs. We owe it to our fans and the Indianapolis community to put this team in the best position to accomplish that goal,” said Chairman Jim Hallett. “Given the tremendous player response to Bernie over the last several weeks and seeing the improvements on the ice, we look forward to seeing what he will accomplish with a full summer to build his own roster.”
“This is a huge honor,” said John. “I am very appreciative of the Hallett family for giving me this opportunity.”
John, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, is a stalwart in the Indianapolis hockey landscape. Before beginning his coaching career in 2013-14 as an assistant with the USHL’s Indiana Ice, John enjoyed a 13-year playing career that spanned from the International Hockey League to the Central Hockey League.
The defenseman was a member of the 1999-00 Indianapolis Ice CHL team that captured the Ray Miron President’s Cup as league champions, alongside current Fuel assistant coach Jan Jas. John led all Ice blueliners in points in all five of his seasons with the club, and is the all-time career assist leader in Indianapolis professional hockey history with 262.
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