Our youth program couldn’t possibly exist without the army of dedicated volunteer coaches and staff who help ensure the safety, enjoyment and development of our kids.
Each of our coaches are trained through USA hockey coaching certification programs as well as SAFESPORT program training.
Tammy Zobel – Hailing from Anoka, MN. Tammy holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Athletic Coaching from Bethel University. Growing up in Minnesota, hockey was a way of life for Tammy and she now uses coaching to pass her love of the game on to children. She lives in Knoxville now with her husband John and kids Drew, Kenny and Jenny.
Bill Scheib – Bill grew up in Morton, PA just outside Philly and learned the game on frozen lakes and ponds until he was 14 years old. He and his wife susan are the proud parents of 5 children and 11 grandchildren and since his kids loved the game of hockey he always supported everything the did. Bill lives in Oak Ridge and works for the Department of Energy.
Hannah Menge – From Chicago, IL. Coach Hannah has over 18 years of both hockey and figure skating experience before she started coaching with KAHA in 2012. She is a Chicago Blackhawks fan (obviously!) but also pulls for the Predators now that she’s in Knoxville. Hannah attends the University of Tennessee where she plans to receive her degree in Kinesiology. Along with her studies, Hannah is also a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor which she puts to use by training our peewee travel team during their off-ice workouts.
Steve Farmer –
Logan Webb –
Josh Allis –
Elizabeth Azel – Coach Azel hails from upstate NY but spent the majority of her adult life in Louisiana. She originally began taking figure skating lessons when she relocated to Knoxville in 2014 but her children had other plans for their time on the ice. Elizabeth’s children Sarah and Matthew pulled her into the hockey community and Coach Azel says “I’m learning along with them and I love to see the smiling and proud faces of all the children in the KAHA programs.” Liz is a family physician in Oak Ridge where her and husband Mark live with there two kids, dog, cat, snake and 8 guinea pigs!
Matt Cantrell –
Robert Fail –
Tyler Farr – Coach Farr lives in Knoxville, TN and he and his family are all Nashville Predators fans.
Chris Gallati – Originally from Pensacola, FL. Chris now lives in Knoxville with his wife and 4 children. He loves the combination of speed, intensity and finesse the game of hockey provides and enjoys passing along his passion for the game to kids. Chris is a neurosurgeon with Neurosurgical Associates on Alcoa Highway.
Jason Kreider – From Tory, OH. Coach Kreider now lives in Knoxville with wife Kristen and son Hutson. His favorite teams are the Blue Jackets and the Predators and he grew up playing the game in his hometown. Jason loves watching young players advance their skills with every practice.
Marc Lamarre – One of many Canadians here on our staff, Coach Lamarre was born and raised North of the border in Montreal, Quebec. He now works at ORNL and resides in Knoxville, TN with his wife Amanda and children Brittany, Olivia, Jason, and Sophia. Hockey has always been a part of Marc’s life and he joined KAHA so he could help develop the game for kids and grow the sport in East Tennessee.
Jim McKinney – Coach McKinney is from Madisonville, TN and he and his wife Jenni enjoy watching their son Jackson learn the game of hockey. The McKinney’s also have two goofy dogs in their family and Jim loves coaching and how rewarding (and hilarious) it is to see young players progress.
Josh Akright – Josh hails from Haslett, MI and has devoted his entire life to the game of hockey. Currently living in Knoxville, TN with his wife Margaux and sons Bryce & Brecken, Josh is a former Western Michigan hockey Division 1 player as well as spending several years playing professionally Kalamazoo, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Topeka and right here in Knoxville for the Ice Bears. A lifelong Red Wings fan, Josh is a board member with KAHA and the head coach of our Mite Select team. Coach Akright loves being around the rink, loves the game and most of all the people that are involved with it.
Nathan Halter – Coach Halter grew up in Buffalo, NY and it was just a natural way of life to watch, learn and play hockey himself. After moving to East Tennessee with his wife Denis, 2 sons Cole & Easton and daughter Berkley, Nathan joined KAHA as a coach to experience the hockey life as his kids develop into players themselves.
Terry Eller –
Ryan Redman – From Eden Prairie, MN. Coach Redman still clings to his days as a fan of the Minnesota North Stars. It was a state law in Minnesota to play hockey, so he’s been in rinks and on frozen ponds stickhandling since he was 5 years old. Now that he and his wife Andrea reside in Knoxville with their children Isaac and Adeline along with the family dog Charlie and a couple of fish, Coach Redman has returned to the game he loves and is excited to back on the ice helping youth players develop.
Jamie Ronayne – A native of Bloomfield, MI coach Ronayne brings a vast hockey resume to the KAHA coaching ranks. After a playing career that included NCAA action with Buffalo St and professional stops in Tulsa, New Haven, San Angelo, El Paso, Alabama and Knoxville, Jamie was also an assistant coach for the Knoxville Ice Bears for 7 seasons. Currently living in Knoxville, TN with his wife Nikki and sons Max & Tucker, Jamie believes hockey is the greatest game on the planet and some of his best memories and relationships in life have come from it. He enjoys being able to pass his love for the game on to his son Max who is currently in the mite program.
John Martin – John lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife Michelle and sons Brandon and Preston. Coach Martin is a proud member of the Knoxville Police Department’s K9 unit and was a fan of the old Knoxville Cherokees. He also played in Italy for the Aviano Ice Dragons, an armed forces team who competed against some professional Italian teams in the Serie A Division.
Greg Maine –
Kent McClure –
David Fairley – David returns to the game after a 20 year absence that was broken by a “Learn to Play – Little Preds” ad that brought he and his family back to the rink. Originally from Montreal, Quebec coach “Shwig” now lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife Caroline, children Cayden, Asher & Macy and their smelly dog Tatey. What started as offering to lend a hand from time to time has turned into Coach Fairley being on the ice with our mites, Little Preds, PREDecessor and a member of the Cool Sports Adult League’s Crusaders.
Chad Henry –
Greg Knight – From Martin, TN. Coach Knight and his wife Tina are avid Nashville Predators fans just like their son Asher who plays in the KAHA program as well.
Rob Link – A devoted member of the Pittsburgh Penguins evil empire since the day he was born, Coach Rob is originally from Meadville, PA. Now located in Knoxville, TN with his wife Julie, son Jay and daughter Keaton, Rob is the Director of Community Relations for the Salvation Army. Rob is also a devoted member of the KAHA board and helped secure a 25,000 grant from USA Hockey in 2015 for the program’s Sled Hockey initiative. Rob says “There is no other sport or environment that gives you the same feeling from 4 to 64 like hockey does.”
Michael Farley – From Bluefield, WV Coach Farley and his wife Christin follow their son Sammy to the rink whenever they can. Michael grew up playing pond hockey and worshipping the Broad Street Bullies and now loves being on the ice with his son and helping to teach the youth players.
Brittney Newman – Born & raised in Knoxville, TN. Brittney is the team manager for our Mite program. Her son Craye and husband Craig all got hooked to the sport in 2012 when they attended an Ice Bears game and the rest is history. They are all die hard UT football Nashville Predators fans, even their Puggle General Neyland. Brittney loves the way hockey can put a smile on her son’s face.
Rick Dougherty – From Sioux Falls, ND coach Rick loves the Nashville Predators or any team who is playing the Red Wings. Rick served 12 years in the United States military where he was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan before settling in Knoxville with his daughter Makenzi and son Dustin who plays in the KAHA program. Rick says, “hockey is more than a sport, it’s a community of people coming together and no matter what kind of day I’m having it’s always better when I step on the ice.”
Ron Barden –
Alan Messler – From Greenback, TN born and raised. Coach Messler’s favorite hockey team is Team Gold in the Cool Sports Squirt division. His daughter Mason plays in our system and his son Blake and wife Wendy are avid fans. The Messler family are brand new to hockey and ever since his daughter saw a “Learn to Play” ad, they haven’t stopped since. Al hates to sit around so he joined the KAHA coaching army and loves being on the ice with the kids.
Derek Bell –
David Frady – Coach Frady was raised in Spartanburg, SC but now calls Athens, TN his home with wife Becky and their two children Mikaela and Nathan along with the family German sheppards Django and Bianca. Ever since Coach Frady’s mother read him the book “The Value of Tenacity – The Story of Maurice Richard” he has loved the game and continues to pass that love along through coaching.
Bob Gantt – “Coach Bob” has been a fixture on the ice at Cool Sports for years and enjoys helping to develop the youth players who come through our program. He currently coaches the Squirt Select team as well as Squirt House and is a fan of the Nashville Predators and the Manitoba Moose.
Russ James –
Craig Bates –
Burton Kirkwood – Coach Kirkwood is a native of Bridgewater, VA and is a Boston Bruins fan. He now lives in Knoxville with his wife Mary Clare, their son Benjamin who is in the KAHA program and Sofia, an exchange student from Spain who stays with the Kirkwood’s. Coach Burton loves how hockey promotes teamwork and constantly challenges you to get better.
Christine Akins – Christine is the team manager for the Squirt House League, Squirt Select and just about any other division she is needed for. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA you can probably guess what team her husband Chris and sons Crosby, Alex and Parker cheer for. Christine grew up in a town when Super Mario Lemieux ruled the ice and has loved the game ever since.
PEEWEE / BANTAM
Rob Loucks – Coach Rob is one of our finest examples of teamwork and sportsmanship. Born and raised in Alexandria, MN hockey was a way of life and “Loucksy” has been playing since he was 2 1/2 years old. Now living in Knoxville, TN with his wife Carol, their son Hunter and sheltie “Coby” Rob’s favorite team is still the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Coach Loucks has played the game, been a referee and coached the game for as long as he can remember since he was a toddler and through college and hopes to be involved with the game a long way into the future.
JR Presby – From Seven Hills, OH Coach Presby is a die hard Columbus Blue Jackets fan who enjoys the speed and entertainment of hockey. Now living in Maryville, TN with his wife Sarah and their son Ryan who is in the PW/B division, JR is a quality manager at HURST Tool & Stamping. The whole Presby family enjoys watching hockey live, on TV and are Knoxville Ice Bears season ticket holders.
Scott Amo –
Kraig Oldfield – Coach Kraig was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and it’s no surprise his loyalties lie with the Calgary Flames. Now living in Knoxville with his wife Rochelle and sons Tanner & Nikolai who both play in the system, Kraig has committed himself to teaching fundamentals and team play to our youth players. Kraig says “teaching kids not only to play the game, but to love the game is the most enjoyable part of coaching.”
Scott Bogert – Coach Scott calls both Lafayette, LA and St Louis, MO his hometown but has now settled in Knoxville, TN with his wife Mary, daughter Jaden and son Nick “Hat Trick” Bogert. Scott grew up playing on frozen ponds in St Louis but a move to Alabama caused his hockey participation to lie dormant for the past 35 years. His wife Mary manages the Knoxville Civic Coliseum and attending Ice Bears games got him hooked and now the whole family is on board.
Ron Shaffer – From Danville, IL, Coach Ron is one of KAHA’s most colorful and passionate coaches who is also a member of the Reapers in the Cool Sports Adult League. Ron’s son Will is a PW/B player and after being away from the game for 25 years, Ron says “Just the smell of the ice when I brought Will to his first practice brought back all the good memories of my childhood.”
Dan Grosso – From Hingham, MA Coach Grosso grew up playing hockey and is obviously a Boston Bruins fan. His wife Carrie and two boys Daniel and Will now reside in Knoxville and Dan got into coaching when his son Daniel joined KAHA and he really enjoys being a part of the program.
Ken Walker – Coach Ken is originally from Richmond, MO and is a big Red Wings fan. His wife Lili now live in Knoxville with their two sons Joe and Alex and he really enjoys the speed and physicality of the game. He got into coaching and joined KAHA after his oldest son joe developed a love for the game.
Jim Wright – Coach Wright and his wife LeaAnn are both Nashville Predators fans and love to cheer on their son Weston who plays for the KAHA peewee Select team. Coach Jim coached youth sports his whole life but never got into hockey until Weston picked the game up and now gets a ton of satisfaction from watching the kids develop their skills within the game and the social interactions that come with it.
LeaAnn Wright – LeaAnn is the team manager for our PW/B division along with being a KAHA scorekeeper and DJ for the PW Select team. LeaAnn is a consultant at Premier Designs Jewelry and her son Weston plays in KAHA’s peewee division.