Stingrays fire Anastas, Bergin named Head Coach

Stingrays fire Anastas, Bergin named Head Coach
GF Default - RAW: New Stingrays head coach Spiros Anastas

North Charleston, SC (WCSC) - After 1 season that included a franchise record home losing streak and an exit in the 1st round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Stingrays have fired head coach Spiros Anastas the team announced on Friday morning.

Assistant coach Steve Bergin has been promoted to head coach and will be introduced at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“I would like to thank Spiros Anastas for his dedication and commitment to our team over this past season and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Stingrays Principal Owner Todd Halloran. “As an organization, we are committed to getting better and not resting on our laurels. We are excited about refocusing our efforts and improving our team and our fan experience as we pursue our goal of winning our fourth Kelly Cup. At this point, we believe Steve Bergin is prepared to help lead us there.”

Anastas was hired last August after serving as the head coach at the University of Lethbridge. He became the first head coach since the teams original head coach Rick Vaive to not have served as the teams assistant coach before being promoted.

The Rays once again had a winning record in the 2018-19 season but they had struggles as well. From February to March, the team lost 10 straight games at the North Charleston Coliseum which set a new franchise record.

They would remain in a fight for one of the conference’s final playoff spot for the remainder of the season and would clinch that spot on the final day of the regular season with a win in Atlanta.

The Rays, once again matched up with Orlando in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, took game 1 on the road but dropped the next four including 3 in a row at home to be eliminated.

With just 1 year behind the bench, Anastas becomes the shortest reigning head coach in Stingrays history.

Bergin has been in with the Stingrays since 2016, serving as an assistant coach for the last three seasons.

“I believe that Steve Bergin is the best person to be our head coach as we go into the 2019-20 season," said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. "As an assistant coach, he helped guide us to the Kelly Cup Finals and helped oversee one of the best defensive teams in ECHL history. As a professional player, Steve won three championships and knows what it takes to succeed. We are excited about this next chapter and we’re going to work immediately.”

A native of Groton, Mass., Bergin was part of the Stingrays’ Kelly Cup Finals appearance in 2017 and helped the team to their best regular season in franchise history the following year.

“I’m very excited to lead the Stingrays on the ice during the coming season,” Bergin said. “I want to thank Todd and Rob for this great opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with the team and the organization in our pursuit of a championship.”

Before starting his coaching career Bergin spent five seasons as a defenseman with the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) from 2011-16. He led Pensacola to three SPHL titles in 2013, 2014 and 2016 as well as a regular season championship during the 2013-14 season. Prior to turning pro, Bergin played four seasons of NCAA Hockey at the University of Connecticut and was a product of Lawrence Academy as well as the Boston Jr. Bruins.