The Wheeling Nailers have named Mike Bavis the 18th head coach in team history and director of hockey operations, the team announced Wednesday morning.
Bavis was most recently an assistant coach at Babson College, a division III school in Massachusetts, and prior to that, an assistant coach with the AHL's Springfield Falcons.
Bavis' coaching career began in 1998 as an assistant coach with his alma mater Boston University. He held that position until 2009, when he was promoted to associate head coach, a position he held for two seasons before stepping down.
A former right wing, Bavis had a short professional career following his time at Boston University. He played for the Rochester Americans in the AHL for a full season, and spent a second season splitting time between Rochester and the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.
Bavis replaces head coach Mark Dennehy, who was hired in May, then accepted a head coaching job with the Binghamton Devils last week.
"We are very pleased to welcome Mike Bavis to Wheeling as our new head coach," Nailers Governor Don Rigby said. "Mike was an instrumental part in continuing a tremendous legacy with the ice hockey program at Boston University, while learning under one of the most influential NCAA coaches in Jack Parker. We are looking forward to him adding to our winning tradition, and becoming part of our community."
“Our organization is very pleased to be able to name Mike Bavis our head coach," Bill Guerin said. “Mike has been a key contributor to establish a winning culture wherever he has been. We know he’ll do the same for the Wheeling Nailers."
“In coming down to Wheeling, I was impressed with Don Rigby and Brian Komorowski, as they gave me a great introduction into the franchise,” Bavis said. “Having the right culture is really important, and as the coach, I have to know how to get the most out of our players. Our job is to try to build a team that is fast, skilled, and fearless, which will attack, make plays with the puck, and put pressure on the opponent.”
Bavis' twin brother, Mark, was one of the Los Angeles Kings scouts on United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks.