ASTON, PA -- The Philadelphia Little Flyers are proud to announce the hiring of George Lewis as the new Head Coach of their Eastern Hockey League (EHL) team. Lewis is excited and grateful for the opportunity with one of the top teams in the league.
"I'm humbled and excited to be given the opportunity to be named the Head Coach of the Little Flyers EHL team," said Lewis. "I am very much looking forward to what this year will hold for us. First off, I'd like to thank the Giacobbo's for giving me this tremendous opportunity. I'd like to thank Rocky Russo and Mark Catron for taking me in and continuing to be great friends and people who I plan to learn from for a long time. I am forever in debt to Coach Gadowsky and his staff at Penn State University for the opportunity they gave me to be a part of that program they have built in State College. Finally, I need to thank my family and friends for their continual support as I take the next step in my coaching career. I would be nowhere without them. After spending a year with Rocky and my time with Penn State, I feel excited to get the opportunity to take so much that I've learned about details and the hard work it takes to get the job done as a coach of young men, and help the guys we have at the Little Flyers develop as hockey players and people to achieve their goals of becoming NCAA Student Athletes.”
Lewis was an Assistant Coach with the Little Flyers last season on Rocky Russo’s (EHL Coach of the Year) staff. During the 2016-17 campaign the Little Flyers captured their third straight EHL Regular Season Championship. The team also re-wrote the EHL record book with a 30-game winning streak and 33-game point streak. Prior to coming to the Little Flyers last season, Lewis served as an Assistant Coach at Penn State University for the NCAA Division I team. While at State College with the Nittany Lions, Lewis’ responsibilities included focusing on daily practice, working with goaltenders and analyzing video. Over the past several seasons, Penn State has emerged as a hockey power house at the Division I level, capturing its first Big Ten Hockey Championship in program history.
“As an organization we feel that George is the perfect fit to take the reins of our top program at this point in his coaching career,” said Little Flyers owner John Giacobbo. “With George’s prior experience as an NCAA Division I assistant coach at Penn State and coaching for one season with Rocky in the EHL, I believe he understands the Little Flyer culture and what it is going to take to not only win hockey games, but grow our program. Coach Lewis will continue our organization's focus on developing players and moving them onto the next level to reach their dreams of becoming NCAA Student-Athletes.”
Lewis replaces Russo, who last week was named the Head Coach of the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League (NAHL).
“I am excited for George and the opportunity that he has to be the Head Coach of the Little Flyers EHL team," said Russo. "In my time working with him I know he is detailed, organized, and very well-versed as a hockey coach. I have no doubt that I have left the program in excellent hands and I wish him and the Little Flyers much success as they move on with the next chapter of a very storied franchise."
The Little Flyers are coming off of an impressive 39-win season that saw the team advance to their second straight EHL Final. Over the past four seasons the franchise won 159 EHL games with a .757 win percentage in that time.
"Rocky left some big shoes for us to fill here with the winning success our organization has had over the past four seasons," added Lewis. "We will do everything we can to continue the success he had in his four seasons with the program. Our main focus has been and always will be to bring in quality hockey players and more importantly quality young men who are eager to be in Philly and know what it means to be a part of the culture that is the Little Flyers."
Coach Lewis is already hard at work for the 2017-18 season, continuing to build his roster for the upcoming year as well as interviewing coaching candidates for his old position as the team's assistant coach to work alongside himself and EHL Premier team head coach Mark Catron.