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Herbers promoted to head Admiral

The Milwaukee Admirals announced today that Ian Herbers has been named the team’s new head coach. Herbers replaces Kirk Muller, who was named the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes today.

Herbers, the 19th head coach in Admirals history, has spent the past two-plus seasons as the team’s top assistant. During his time in Milwaukee he has helped the Admirals to a combined 95-58-8-16 record, an impressive .605 winning percentage.

In addition to his overall duties as bench boss, Herbers will continue to be responsible for the team’s defensive corps and the penalty kill unit.

Nashville Predators director of player development Martin Gelinas will serve as Herbers’ assistant coach on an interim basis.

Herbers joined the Admirals after spending two seasons as the head coach of the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. During his time at the helm of the Chiefs, Herbers guided the team to a 73-60-8-3 record and a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2007-08 where they lost in the second round to the eventual champions.

Prior to joining the Chiefs, the Jasper, Alta., native spent three seasons with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, including two as the associate head coach. During those two years the Spirit compiled an impressive 80-51-2-3 record and a pair of playoff appearances.

The 44-year-old Herbers ended a successful 12-year playing career after the 2003-04 season. He totaled five assists and 79 penalty minutes in 65 career National Hockey League games with the Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders and helped two teams win league championships: the 1993 Cape Breton Oilers in the American Hockey League and the 1997 Detroit Vipers in the International Hockey League.

Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1987, Herbers played 586 games in parts of 10 seasons in the AHL and IHL with the Oilers, Vipers and Cleveland Lumberjacks. He totaled 147 points on 40 goals and 107 assists to go along with 1,113 penalty minutes. He also posted 26 points (5g, 21a) and 179 PIM in 91 career post-season contests.

Muller leaves the Admirals after guiding the team to a 10-6-0-1 record through the first 17 games of the 2011-12 season. He joins previous Milwaukee head coaches Lane Lambert (assistant coach, Nashville), Claude Noel (head coach, Winnipeg) and Peter Horachek (associate coach, Nashville) in the NHL.

Herbers will man the bench for the first time on Tuesday when the Admirals host the Abbotsford Heat at the Bradley Center.