The Wenatchee Wild has announced that Ryan McKelvie, the team’s associate head coach the last two seasons, is leaving the team to become an assistant coach with the University of Alaska-Anchorage (WCHA).
McKelvie was with the Wild organization from its inception in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in 2008. As associate head coach, he was part of the 2008-09 Wild team that won the West Division championship and advanced to the Robertson Cup championship game in its first year of existence.
McKelvie was also behind the bench last season when the Wild won the NAHL regular-season championship and West Division championship this past season.
The Wild also earned two NAHL Organization of the Year awards during McKelvie’s tenure.
“It’s difficult leaving the Wenatchee Wild organization after being a part of the team’s first two seasons,” McKelvie said. “The Wild organization has allowed me to grow as a coach and become ready to move forward with my career in the college ranks. I will forever be grateful to (Wild head coach) Paul Baxter and the rest of the Wild organization for their support.”
McKelvie, who served as a graduate assistant coach at Bemidji State University prior to joining the Wild, is looking forward to coaching collegiate hockey again.
“I am very honored and excited about this new opportunity,” said McKelvie.
“I’ve always been passionate about college hockey and about the WCHA. I know that (Anchorage head) coach (Dave) Shyiak and (assistant) coach (Campbell) Blair have done a great job with the program, and I look forward to working with them and the players to contribute to the team’s success in any way that I can.”
A native of New Brighton, Minn., McKelvie is an alumnus of Minnesota State-Mankato, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. McKelvie was a four-year forward on the Mavericks hockey team, which also competes in the WCHA, where he served as a three-year assistant captain. Prior to his collegiate career, McKelvie played junior hockey in the America West Hockey League (now the NAHL) with the Bozeman Icedogs from 2000-02.
“Ryan will be missed as he has done a fantastic job in his two years with the Wenatchee Wild,” said Baxter. “Ryan is a good friend and I wish him all the best in his new opportunity with UAA, knowing for certain that UAA is acquiring the services of a very fine man and an outstanding up-and-coming coach.”
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)