The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed Crunch head coach Ross Yates and assistant coach Trent Cull. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Yates, 49, will be returning for his fourth season as head coach and tenth overall with the club. He served as assistant coach for six (6) seasons under current Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Gary Agnew from 2000-01 to 2005-06. Under his guidance over the last three seasons, the Crunch have gone 120-92-11-17, including a 46-26-2-6 mark in 2007-08, the second best finish in the 15-year history of the franchise. In addition, Yates’ .566 winning percentage is the highest of any head coach in Crunch history.
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Yates appeared in seven NHL games with the Hartford Whalers in 1983-84, collecting two points (1g, 1a) and four penalty minutes. Yates also skated in 261 AHL games as a player, amassing 106 goals, 189 assists and 171 penalty minutes with Binghamton (Whalers) and Rochester. He was awarded the Les Cunningham Award in 1982-83 as the AHL’s league MVP after amassing 41 goals, 84 assists and 28 penalty minutes in 77 games while with Binghamton.
Yates and his wife Laurie, have three children Jennifer (20), Patrick (18) and Trevor (14).
Cull, 35, will be returning for his fourth season as assistant coach. Before joining the Crunch, he served as an assistant coach for Guelph (OHL) from 2004-06.
A native of Georgetown, Ontario, the former defenseman appeared in 614 professional games for various teams in the AHL and the now defunct International Hockey League (IHL), collecting 28 goals, 79 assists and 1,615 penalty minutes.
Originally signed as a free agent by Toronto on June 4, 1994, Cull’s best professional season was in 2000-01 as a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, when he compiled 11 goals, 15 assists and 166 penalty minutes. He was a member of the Houston Aeros team that won the Turner Cup (IHL) in 1999-00 and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team that went to the Calder Cup Finals in 2000-01.
Cull played his last two seasons in a Crunch uniform in 2002-03 and 2003-04, appearing in 98 games and notching two goals, 15 assists and 261 penalty minutes.
Cull and his wife Marcia have two children, Gabriel (5) and Wyatt (2).
Season tickets for the 2009-10 season are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the Crunch office at (315) 473- 4444 or by stopping by the Crunch office in the War Memorial at Oncenter.