Panthers name Morris, Kelly assistant coaches
July 7, 2014
The Florida Panthers announced Monday that Mark Morris and Mike Kelly have been named the club’s new assistant coaches.
The pair, along with assistant coach John Madden and goaltending coach Robb Tallas, will serve on the team’s coaching staff under head coach Gerard Gallant. Brian Skrudland will return to his role as director of player development for the Panthers.
Morris, 56, has spent the last eight seasons as head coach of the AHL's Manchester Monarchs, earning a record of 338-251-39 (.569) in the regular season and 24-31 (.436) in the postseason. Morris ranks 10th all-time in coaching victories with 338, and he guided the Monarchs to the Calder Cup Playoffs in seven of his eight seasons, including trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2007 and 2010.
Morris assisted in advancing many NHL careers and turning Monarchs players into Stanley Cup champions; more than half of the Kings' 2012 and 2014 championship teams were coached by Morris in Manchester, including Jonathan Quick, Tyler Toffoli, Slava Voynov, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Kyle Clifford and Alec Martinez.
Morris, who was 306-156-42 in 14-plus seasons at Clarkson University from 1988-2002, is the only coach in history with at least 300 wins at both the professional and U.S. collegiate levels.
Prior to coaching, Morris played three seasons professionally, mostly in the AHL with the New Haven Nighthawks from 1981-84.
Kelly, 54, spent the last four seasons working with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, serving as head coach and general manager (2012-13) and director of hockey operations/associate head coach (2009-12). Working alongside Gallant, he helped lead the Sea Dogs to three first-place finishes, three league final appearances, two QMJHL championships (2011, 2012) and one Memorial Cup (2011).
Prior to working in Saint John, Kelly spent three years with the Vancouver Canucks organization (2005-08) as an assistant coach with both the Canucks and their AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.