Amerks announce coaching staff changes

The Rochester Americans announced Monday that Chadd Cassidy has been named interim head coach of the Amerks while Chris Taylor has been named assistant coach.

Cassidy becomes the 30th head coach in Amerks history after originally joining the team as an assistant coach on Aug. 31, 2011, and is currently in his second season with the club. He replaces Ron Rolston, who was promoted from Rochester and named the interim head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 20.

The 2011-12 season marked Cassidy’s first in professional hockey after spending the previous five seasons (2006-11) working alongside Rolston in the same capacity with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. In 2011-12, Cassidy helped guide the Amerks to a 36-26-10-4 record and a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Cassidy joined the Amerks organization following five seasons as an assistant coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, culminating in a gold medal at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under-18 World Championships in Germany. During the 2009-10 campaign, Cassidy helped guide the U.S. National Under-17 Team to great international success. While serving as an assistant to Rolston, Cassidy helped lead Team USA to its first title at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge since 2002. He also helped guide the squad to a first-place finish at the 2009 Under-17 Four Nations Cup in Slovakia. In 2008-09, Cassidy led the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team to its fourth gold medal at the 2009 IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that earned the silver medal at the 2007 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship in Finland. Prior to joining the NTDP, Cassidy served as the head coach for four seasons at the National Sports Academy in his hometown of Lake Placid, N.Y. He was also an assistant coach at State University of New York at Cortland from 1999-2001 and at Potsdam State during the 2001-2002 season.

Taylor originally joined the Amerks coaching staff as development coach on Aug. 31, 2011, following a 19-year professional career as a player, and is currently in his second season with the Amerks coaching staff. After spending parts of nine seasons with the Amerks as a player between 1999 and 2011, Taylor finished his playing career ranked among the franchise’s all-time leaders in assists (3rd, 339), games played (4th, 519), points (5th, 481) and goals (10th, 142). He also served as team captain during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.

A member of the Amerks’ 50th Anniversary Team, Taylor is also a three-time Amerks team MVP and scoring champion (2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05) and is the only player in franchise history to achieve those two feats in the same season on three occasions. During the 2004-05 campaign, Taylor was honored with the AHL’s Fred T. Hunt Award for sportsmanship, determination and dedication to the game of hockey.