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 Fayetteville Marksmen

Ryan Cruthers Accepts USHL Head Coach Position

April 30, 2024 - SPHL (SPHL)
Fayetteville Marksmen News Release

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - After a successful season on the ice, with many players seeing opportunities to advance in their careers, Ryan Cruthers has taken an opportunity to further his career and take a dream job in the USHL.

Marksmen Owner/CEO Chuck Norris expressed his support for Cruthers.

"While it saddens me to see Ryan and his family leave the Marksmen organization, I am excited for them to embark on their new experience. Ryan was tasked with enhancing the overall culture of the Marksmen Hockey operation and succeeded in a way that will be hard to replicate.

Personally, Ryan is a friend that I have been able to trust and count on and he's had a tremendous influence on my family- especially my own son who aspires to be a collegiate athlete. Ryan's truest passion seems to be in developing and guiding young players in their pursuit of college and pro careers. He has proven to be one of the best at helping them achieve their goals.

I will forever be thankful to Ryan, Julie, Blake and Brady for their time and commitment to the Marksmen and I will be watching and supporting them in their pursuit of happiness and success.

Congrats, Ryan. You will be missed."

Cruthers addressed the Marksmen fanbase in the following letter:

"Marksmen Fans,

Thank you for your support and for making this an incredible season, although we did not achieve all of our goals there is lots to be proud of and to look forward to. The connection you fans had with our team was something truly special and motivated us to play for you each night. I want to thank the season ticket holders, booster club and all Marksmen fans for their passionate support day in and day out for our team, which saw a tremendous amount of roster turn over for the right reasons. Our league-leading number of ECHL call-ups is a testament to the hard work and success our players had each week and their dedication to their craft. I want to thank our players for giving us everything they had each day. Just like our players have dreams and ambitions to climb to the highest levels, us coaches do as well. I am excited to have accepted a head coaching position that will continue to put me on a path towards my ultimate goals and aspiration.

That same excitement is coupled with sadness as I leave the best organization in the SPHL and the best owners and friends I could ask for in Chuck and Lanai Norris. They have built something that no others could do, and you could not be luckier to have dedicated, passionate and committed owners. Our success on the ice would not be possible without these two, when it comes to the players and staff, the way they treat us I will forever be grateful for. I would also like to thank Alex Wall and the front office staff for their dedication to making Fayetteville an exciting place to play each night at the Crown Coliseum. With that I would also like to thank the Crown Coliseum staff- especially Chad and Taz who became members of our family and dedicated themselves to making our lives easier. Our support staff of Kyle Sherrill and Chad Ray not only are excellent at what they do for the team but have become some of my closest friends that I now consider family, thank you for an amazing year. To the doctors and dentists and all the others that contribute behind the scenes to our success, thank you. Last, but not least, I would like to thank my assistant Kyle Sharkey. The number of hours that were demanded from him and the amount of detail needed to go into this job daily is no easy task and you were truly the best at it. I was not only lucky enough to work alongside Sharkey each day, but I gained a lifelong friend that I hope to work with again one day. The roster and the team are in a great place and setup to succeed, and I am excited to watch them chase a Presidents Cup next season. Fayetteville will always have a special place in my heart and my coaching career, and I will do everything I can to continue to support and help the best organization in the SPHL.

Thank you all again."

Fayetteville finished the 2023-24 regular season with the fourth-best record in the SPHL standings and had the best powerplay percentage in the league under Cruthers' lead.

The Marksmen are expected to announce a new head coach Thursday.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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