WINDSOR, Colo. – The Colorado Eagles announced that Aaron Schneekloth has been named head coach of the team, becoming just the third head coach in Eagles’ history. Schneekloth assumes the position which became open after longtime head coach Chris Stewart decided to shift his focus to his existing roles of governor, president and general manager of the organization. In addition, it was also announced that former Eagles forward Ryan Tobler will serve as the assistant coach under Schneekloth.
“Watching Aaron transition from player to coach over the past three seasons has reinforced my firm belief that he is without question the best person to take over control of our bench,” said Eagles president and general manager Chris Stewart. “We received interest from a huge number of candidates, including several with NHL experience on their resume, but at the end of the day I know that Aaron is the one who can take us where we are looking to go.”
Schneekloth will be assuming a head coaching position for the first time in his career, after spending the previous three seasons as the Eagles assistant coach. Prior to moving behind the bench, the Calgary, Alberta native enjoyed a stellar professional career that spanned 11 years and saw him spend seven seasons in an Eagles sweater, including a championship season in 2007.
“I would like to start by thanking Martin Lind, Chris Stewart and the entire Eagles organization for this opportunity,” said Schneekloth. “The standard of excellence that has been set by Chris is a challenge I accept and look forward to maintaining at this level. It’s rare and humbling to know that I not only had the opportunity to play for the best fans and organization in this league, but I now get to lead it on the bench,” added Schneekloth. “My family and I are excited to be able to continue to call Northern Colorado home and to be part of such an amazing community. We take great pride in that.”
The 37-year-old was named the ECHL’s Defenseman of the year in 2012, while being voted the Central Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Defenseman in both 2009 and 2010. A four-time All-Star and a member of both the CHL’s All-Decade Team and the Colorado Eagles All-Decade Team, Schneekloth was also named to the ALL-ECHL First Team in 2012 and was voted to the ALL-CHL Team on three separate occasions.
Schneekloth retired in 2013 as the Eagles all-time leader in points, goals and assists by a defenseman. He also left having etched his name into the Eagles record book ranked 5th overall in points (356), 2nd in games played (382) and 6th in goals (111). He also owns a NCAA championship as a member of the University of North Dakota team which captured the NCAA title in 2000.
Tobler retired from professional hockey in 2010 after spending seven seasons with the Eagles, winning a pair of championships with Colorado in 2005 and 2007. He still ranks 4th in Eagles history with 416 points in 367 games with Colorado. Most recently he has served as the head coach of the Bentley Generals of the Chinook Hockey League from 2013 to 2016, leading the team to the league title in both 2014 and 2015 and ultimately culminating with the Generals winning the prestigious Allan Cup in 2016.