(photo: South Carolina Stingrays)

By Hayley Musashi

The ECHL announced that South Carolina Stingrays head coach and director of hockey operations, Spencer Carbery has been named the league’s recipient and club’s first-time honoree of the John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year.

Named for John Brophy, a record-holding three-time title winner and Hall of Fame inductee, the award is presented annually to the ECHL coach that has contributed the most to his team’s success as selected in a vote of league coaches.

“I’m very honored and proud to be selected as the ECHL Coach of the Year,” said Carbery in a Stingrays press release. “I also feel very humbled because of all the exceptional coaches we currently have in this league and the impressive list of recipients. This award is a reflection of not only me, but also our players, staff and the entire Stingray organization that has worked so hard this season.”

Carbery spearheaded the Stingrays to the Southern Division title, the first time the club has been at the top of the standings since the 2000-01 season, with a 43-23-6 record for 92 points. In his three seasons as head coach, Carbery has improved their record each year.

With an all-time record of 118-77-21, Carbery has led the Stingrays to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of his three seasons.

As a player, Carbery was a member of the 2008-09 Stingrays campaign, helping the club to a third Kelly Cup championship. In his time with the Rays, he recorded 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points in 94 games, becoming the inaugural recipient of the Jerry Zucker Community Service Award in 2009. Carbery spent four professional seasons in the league, splitting time between the Bakersfield Condors, Stockton Thunder, Fresno Falcons, Stingrays, and Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League.

“I could not be more proud of the job Spencer has done this season and the growth he has made over the last three seasons as our head coach,” said team president Rob Concannon. “To finally be rewarded in this manner is a true testament to his work on a daily basis.”

The Stingrays begin the first round of the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Wheeling Nailers on Friday, April 18.

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