GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League announced that they have signed former Dayton Bombers coach Greg Ireland to a contract extension for 2005-06. The ECHL affiliate for Grand Rapids is Toledo and both serve as the affiliate for Detroit of the National Hockey League.
The 39-year-old Ireland was named head coach on February 10 after serving as the team’s assistant coach since the beginning of 2003-04. The Griffins were 17-13-1-1 following Ireland’s appointment, including 16-10-1-1 after February 24 and 12-7-0-1 after March 10.
Ireland was head coach and general manager of hockey operations for Dayton from 1998-2003. He is the Bombers all-time coaching leader with a 175-134-47 record and led the team to the Kelly Cup Playoffs four times in five seasons, including the 2002 Kelly Cup Finals. Following the 2002-03 season, he joined the coaching staff of Hamilton of the AHL which advanced to the 2003 Calder Cup Finals.
In five seasons with Dayton, Ireland had more than 90 players who were called up to either the AHL or the International Hockey League, including 18 players in the AHL in 2002-03.