Rampage remove Edwards’ interim tag

Phoenix Coyotes assistant general manager and GM of the San Antonio Rampage Brad Treliving announced today that the Coyotes have officially named Ray Edwards as head coach of the Rampage, the Coyotes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.

In addition, Treliving also announced that Jeff Truitt has been hired as assistant head coach of the Rampage.

Edwards, 40, helped guide the Rampage to a 30-23-3-6 record last season after being named as interim head coach on Nov. 23, 2009. Under Edwards’ leadership, San Antonio finished the 2009-10 campaign with the second-best power-play percentage in the AHL at 20.7% and led the AHL in home power-play percentage at 25.6%, both of which were franchise records. In addition, Edwards helped several of the Coyotes’ prospects shine including Kyle Turris and Brett MacLean. Turris collected 49 points (19-30-49) in his last 56 games and 32 points (13-19-32) in his last 30 games while MacLean registered 51 points (22-29-51) in his last 58 games.

Edwards, who joined the Rampage as assistant coach on Aug. 21, 2007, helped coach the Rampage to their most successful season in franchise history with 42 wins and 94 points during the 2007-08 campaign. Prior to joining the Rampage, Edwards coached in the Central Hockey League (CHL) and East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) for seven seasons and guided the CHL’s New Mexico Scorpions to the Conference Finals in 2006-07.

Prior to working in New Mexico, Edwards led the San Angelo Saints to the CHL President’s Cup Playoffs in each of his two seasons with the team. Edwards was named the CHL’s Coach of the Year in his first season with San Angelo after guiding the Saints to a 35-point turnaround and a Southwest Division title.

A native of Wasaga Beach, Ont., Edwards began his coaching career at the age of 28 as one of the youngest coaches in professional hockey when he took the reins of the ECHL’s Huntington Blizzard in 1998. The following season, he led the Blizzard to their most successful season ever with a 35-25-10 record.

As a player, Edwards recorded 174 points (83 goals, 91 assists) and 1,253 penalty minutes in 309 games over seven seasons in the ECHL. He attended National Hockey League training camps with Los Angeles, Chicago and Ottawa.

Truitt joins the Rampage after spending the 2009-10 season as director of hockey operations for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Prior to working with the Warriors, Truitt spent the past two seasons coaching in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons. On June 17, 2008 Truitt was promoted from assistant coach to head coach, becoming the 10th head coach in Falcons franchise history.

Truitt entered the pro coaching ranks following an outstanding junior coaching career with the Kelowna Rockets (WHL). The native of Rosetown, Sask., left Kelowna after seven seasons as a member of the team’s coaching staff, including three seasons as head coach. Truitt joined the Rockets in 2000-01 and served four seasons (2000-01 to 2003-04) as an assistant coach.

In his three seasons as the Rockets’ head coach, Truitt compiled a 113-76-18-9 record, winning one WHL championship and advancing to the Memorial Cup tournament in 2005. During the 2004-05 season, Truitt guided the Rockets to a 45-13-12-2 (.722) record and a second place finish in the league’s British Columbia Division, before going 16-8 in the post-season to win the WHL championship. With the victory, Truitt and the Rockets advanced to their third consecutive Memorial Cup tournament.

During his seven seasons on the Rockets’ coaching staff, Truitt helped guide Kelowna to two WHL championships (2003, 2005), two WHL regular season titles (2003, 2004), three consecutive trips to the Memorial Cup tournament (2003, 2004, 2005) and one Memorial Cup championship (2004).

Truitt also has international coaching experience with Team Canada. He served as video coach for the silver medal winning 2004 Canadian National Junior Team, was an assistant coach with Canada’s gold medal winning Under-18 Team in August 2006 in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and most recently, he was an assistant coach with Canada’s World Under-18 team that placed fourth at the 2007 world tournament in Finland.