Behind the ECHL Benches – Terry Ruskowski

Terry Ruskowski is one of the most successful coaches in all of minor league hockey. Ruskowski has gone 693-493-125 over the course of his 20-year professional head coaching career.

He embarks upon his fourth season as Quad City Mallards head coach and general manager and has led the team to the postseason in each of the previous three seasons.

Ruskowski went 442-251-79 while spending 12 seasons in the Central Hockey League from 2002-14. He ranks second in CHL history with 772 games coached and is tied for second in career CHL coaching wins. Prior to taking over the Mallards, he enjoyed great success over nine years with the Laredo Bucks and one campaign with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Ruskowski piloted the Bucks to four straight finals appearances between 2004 and 2007, and twice won the CHL title (2004 and 2006) with Laredo. In 2011-12, the Killer Bees rebounded to post a 32-27-7 record under Ruskowski after enduring back-to-back losing seasons immediately prior to his arrival.

Ruskowski returned to the ECHL last season after last coaching in the league two decades ago. He went 96-80-20 in three seasons as coach of the Columbus Chill from 1991-94. From Columbus, he went on to take the reins of the International Hockey League’s Houston Aeros and United Hockey League’s Knoxville Speed before beginning his hugely successful CHL run.

The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native played 999 career games for six teams – the Houston Aeros, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars – over 15 seasons in the National Hockey League and World Hockey Association. Ruskowski is also the only player in major professional hockey history to have captained four different clubs: the Aeros, Blackhawks, Kings and Penguins.

Coaching Record

Reg. Season



Saskatoon (WHL)


1990-91Saskatoon (WHL) 7229412 
1991-92Columbus Chill (ECHL) 6425309 
1992-93Columbus Chill (ECHL) 6430304 
1993-94Columbus Chill (ECHL) 6841207 624
1994-95Houston (IHL) 8138358 413
1995-96Houston (IHL) 4212273 
1999-00Knoxville (UHL) 7429414 
2000-01Knoxville (UHL) 7439314 413
2002-03Laredo (CHL) 6441176 1156
2003-04Laredo (CHL) 644888 16115
2004-05Laredo (CHL) 6435223 1697
2005-06Laredo (CHL) 6443156 16124
2006-07Laredo (CHL) 6442175 21147
2007-08Laredo (CHL) 6442193 1174
2008-09Laredo (CHL) 6436235 624
2009-10Laredo (CHL) 64322012 734
2010-11Laredo (CHL) 6624348 
2011-12Rio Grande Valley (CHL) 6632277 514
2012-13Quad City (CHL) 6634266 514
2013-14Quad City (CHL) 66332310 1477
2014-15Quad City Mallards (ECHL) 7237287 734
 ECHL Totals
 26813310827 1358