The South Carolina Stingrays went to bed last night with the ECHL’s reigning Coach of the Year leading the way. Today, they are in the market for a new head coach. Steve Bergin resigned his post on Wednesday, leaving to take an unspecified position outside the ECHL.
Bergin had been with the club for a total of four seasons and was named head coach prior to the 2019-20 campaign. His first year as bench boss was beyond belief as he guided the Stingrays to a league-leading record of 44-14-4 at the time of the shutdown. South Carolina also set a club record by winning 25 times away from Charleston (25-5-4).
While also earning coach of the year honours, he was also named a coach for the 2020 ECHL All-Star Classic in Wichita. Bergin and the Stingrays seemed destined for great things, not only in the 2020 postseason, but for the foreseeable future as well.
That will not be the case, however, as the Stingrays now find themselves without a head coach. While you can’t just replace a coach like Bergin, South Carolina has the clout to land another talented tactician behind the bench. Bergin’s future seems bright as well, though no details have yet been released about the next chapter in his career. Where he lands is a story for another day. Today, the focus is on Bergin and his time with the Stingrays.
Bergin issued the following statement in a story on StingraysHockey.com:
“Moving on from this organization and city is the hardest decision that I have ever had to make in my life. It is never easy to move on from a place that has given you so much. I loved my time here and will never forget the people that I was able to work and develop relationships with. I would like to thank our owner Todd Halloran for the opportunity and trust in me to coach this team. The staff, Ryan Blair, Rick Covard, Cameron Parker and Jared Shafran, for all the hard work and dedication they have put into the success of this organization. The players, who without your sacrifice and dedication, none of our team’s success would have been possible. The relationships I have built with you guys will be something I will never forget. I would like to thank Jason Fitzsimmons for his support and guidance throughout my four years here. Not only in hockey, but more importantly, off the ice. He has been a great example of true character. Most importantly, I would like to thank Rob Concannon and Ryan Warsofsky for giving me the opportunity four years ago to be a part of this organization and for teaching me what it means to be a Stingray. I am excited to see what the future holds for me and will always look back on my time here with great memories.”
Bergin played four seasons for the University of Connecticut, posting a career-high ten points in 34 games during his senior season in 2010-2011. He then moved on the professional ranks, joining the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League. There, he played a total of 266 games over parts of five seasons. His final season as a player was the 2015-16 campaign before joining South Carolina as an assistant the following year.
He made quite an impression both on and off the ice in his time with the Stingrays which was made evident by this classy comment released through the team site by Stingrays Principal Owner, Todd Halloran.
“Steve Bergin has been a tremendous asset to our organization over the last four years, and although we are very disappointed that he won’t be leading the Stingrays from behind the bench during the upcoming 2020-21 season, we understand and appreciate that he has decided to take on a different type of challenge that he believes is best for him and his family. I certainly wish him the best of luck.”
With an endorsement like that from Halloran and his success behind the bench, it is clear that Bergin will be a major addition wherever he may end up. Be sure to stay tuned as we will have any future updates right here at The Puck Authority.