By John Devlin
© 2005 The State
COLUMBIA, S.C. – This summer has been a whirlwind of activity for new Columbia Inferno coach Ted Dent.
Since he was hired to replace Scott White as the Inferno’s head coach and director of hockey Operations on June 16, Dent has spent some time traveling with his family; scouted home locations in Columbia; hired Troy Mann to be his assistant coach; worked long distance with Mann on recruiting players for what will be a new-look Inferno team; moved to Columbia on Aug. 11; welcomed a new addition to the family on Aug. 15 when his wife, Katherine, gave birth to daughter Paige (the couple’s third child); and spent a week at the training camp of the Inferno’s parent club, the Vancouver Canucks.
“Yeah, it’s been a little busy,” said Dent, a native of Toronto.
“But it’s also been an exciting time for me and my family. I’m looking forward to being in Columbia and getting a chance to put my ideas about how to coach and manage a hockey team into practice. We’re in the middle of recruiting players for the team, but I’m really looking forward to the start of camp on (Monday), when we finally get out on the ice.”
Dent, who played college hockey at St. Lawrence University and had a five-year professional career in the Central and East Coast leagues, does not have a long coaching resume.
He served as an assistant coach under Mike Haviland with the Kelly Cup champion Trenton Titans last season. He came to Trenton after a five-year stint as the video coordinator for the Washington Capitals in the NHL. His job was to prepare and break down tapes to assist the Capitals’ coaching staff in developing game plans.
“Last year was my first actual hands-on, on-the-bench coaching experience,” Dent said. “But working for five years in Washington was a great experience because it gave me the opportunity to learn from coaches at the top level of our game on a day to day basis.”
Dent said the Columbia job was attractive for a number of reasons.
“I wanted to stay on the East coast, as close to our families as possible,” he said. “Katherine is from New Jersey, and her family is all in the East, and my family is in Toronto. And I contacted a lot of coaches and managers in the ECHL about the Columbia job, and they all talked highly about the city and the Inferno organization.”
Dent talks glowingly about the job Mann has been doing in the early days of the new regime.
“I hired Troy a few days after I got the job, and that was the smartest thing I’ve done so far,” he said. “He has a lot of contacts with people in minor-league hockey, as many or more than I have, and has been invaluable in recruiting the players we have under contract already.
“He’s also going to handle all our travel arrangements, and he’ll make the defensive changes from the bench during the games.”