The Knoxville (Tenn.) Ice Bears have tabbed one of the most decorated players in their franchise's history as the Director of Hockey Operations as former Ferris State University men's ice hockey standout Kevin Swider will occupy the role in an announcement made Monday (July 12) by Ice Bears President and General Manager Mike Murray.
Swider, who played collegiate hockey at Ferris State from 1997-01, was listed as the Southern Professional Hockey League's (SPHL) top player in The Hockey News' 60th Anniversary issue which was published during the 2007-08 campaign.
Swider joins the Ice Bears' front office following a decorated playing career, which features three SPHL Championships, four regular season titles, and six consecutive scoring titles.
Kevin's first responsibility will be to finalize and execute the Knoxville Ice Bears Youth Hockey School as the director of the organization's youth hockey school. The hockey clinic will be held from July 19-25 at Cool Sports in West Knoxville, Tenn.
"We are pleased to have Kevin join our organization," said Murray. "He brings a depth of knowledge, tremendous work ethic and a dedication to winning that will strengthen our first class staff."
Swider joins Murray and will assist in the recruitment of a new head coach and once the new hired is settled, be a valuable resource in recruiting a championship team.
"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to continue working with the Knoxville Ice Bears in a whole new capacity," said Swider. "We have had great success as an organization and I have been honored to be a part of it. I look forward to this new challenge."
The 32-year old Livonia, Mich. native is the longest tenured Ice Bear by playing all or part of each season of the team's existence since 2002. During his time with Knoxville, Swider amassed 676 points with 264 goals to go with 412 assists in 374 regular season games. He also produced 71 points on 20 goals and 51 assists in 51 playoff game appearances.
Swider has served as the Ice Bears' player- assistant coach for the past three (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) seasons and in his new role will be entrusted with a vast range of duties. His roles are and not limited to recruiting, managing salary cap, handling travel, arranging player accommodations as well as securing new corporate partnerships and season ticket holders.
In his four seasons at Ferris State, Swider accumulated 124 career points on 56 goals and 68 assists in 148 games. He presently ranks tied for 18th place among the program's all-time points leaders while ranking 18th in goals and 22nd in assists. Swider was a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) All-Rookie Team pick in 1997-98 and earned 2000-01 CCHA All-Academic Honorable Mention Team accolades.
Swider is married to the former Angie Desmarais, who was a member of the FSU women's volleyball program from 1999-02. The couple has a daughter Avery, who's 10 months old. Swider's brother-in-law, Matt Desmarais, played football at Ferris State from 2001-04.