ROCKY RUSSO - HEAD COACH-DIRECTOR OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS
Rocky Russo was announced as the fourth Head Coach in Amarillo Bulls history on Friday, June 16.
Russo was an Assistant Coach for the Bulls under Head Coach Dennis Williams for three seasons amassing a record of 153-41-20, Winning 2 South Division Regular season titles, 3 division playoff titles and earned 3 consecutive trips to the Robertson Cup National Tournament. The Bulls also won back to back President’s cup championships as NAHL regular season championships, finishing with a 46-7-7 record in back to back seasons and setting the NAHL regular season record at the time with 99 points.
The Bulls culminated the 3 year run by winning the 2013 Robertson Cup National Championship.
During the past four years, Russo was the Head Coach of the Philly Little Flyers of the Eastern Hockey League where the program was quite successful posting a mark of 159-34-14-3 and advancing to two consecutive league championships. The Little Flyers were back-to-back-to-back Regular Season Champions, and four time EHL South Division Champions. This past season the Little Flyers won a record 30 games in a row and had a 33 game point streak. Russo was selected twice as EHL Coach of the Year.
Prior to joining the Bulls the first time, Russo was the assistant coach/director of scouting for the St. Louis Bandits in the NAHL. During his time in St. Louis, the Bandits won the South Division Playoff championship and advanced to the Robertson Cup National Tournament.
Before heading to St. Louis, Russo was the assistant coach/video coordinator for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms in his hometown of Youngstown, OH. While in Youngstown the Phantoms qualified for 4 consecutive Robertson Cups, including appearances in the National Championship game in 2007 and 2008. He also served as the Head Coach/General Manager of the Youngstown State University Men’s hockey team. During his time with the Penguins the team won the 2006 CHA league championship. In 2007 Russo guided the team to a 18-14-4 record and entered the national rankings for the first time in the program’s history. The Penguins reached as high as #16 in the country that season, still the highest ranking the YSU men’s hockey program has achieved.
In total Rocky has coached and recruited 119 student athletes. Rocky also Coach Brandon Saad, former Mahoning Valley Phantom, that went on to be the 43rd overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. Brandon was a member of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, and a finalist for the Calder Cup trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.
Rocky played his college hockey at Kent State University, where he graduated from in 2005 with a degree in Business Management. The Golden Flashes played in 3 National Tournaments during his time with the University.
DAVID NIES - ASSISTANT COACH
David Nies is beginning his first season with the Amarillo Bulls in 2017-18, serving as the team's Assistant Coach.
Nies arrives in Amarillo after last serving as the Video Coordinator and Director of Analytics for the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team (NCAA Div. I/Hockey East). There, he executed on all elements of video and analytics for the team.
Previous coaching stints for Nies included a year at Curry College (NCAA Div. III/ECAC Northeast) as well as Ohio University (ACHA Div. I) in 2014-15. Additionally, Nies held the role of volunteer assistant coach at the University of Southern Maine – his alma mater – during the 2013-14 academic year.
Nies graduated from Southern Maine – where he was a team captain and an ECAC All-Academic Team as a member of the men's ice hockey team – in May of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology; he also minored in Coaching and History. Nies earned his master's degree in Sports and Recreation Sciences from Ohio University in 2015.
AUSTIN SUTTER - ASSISTANT COACH
Austin Sutter celebrates his 7th season with the Bulls. He joined the Bulls organization after a successful professional hockey career as a player and a coach of the Amarillo Gorillas of the Central Hockey League. A native of Red Deer, Alberta, Sutter played Division I College Hockey at Minnesota State University where he studied psychology and sports management. In 2009, Sutter was named the Central Hockey League's Man Of The Year for his noteworthy community presence in the Texas Panhandle.
Austin currently serves as the Program Director for the Amarillo Youth Hockey Association. He and his wife Brandi reside in Amarillo with their sons Britton, Brekon and Barron.
STEVEN 'SMITTY' SMITH - EQUIPMENT MANAGER
RIHO OKAMURA - ATHLETIC TRAINER
ASSISTANT COACH - Tyler Gernhofer
STRENGTH COACH - Jimmy Boyd
SCOUTING DIRECTORS - Chris Coury, Randy Walker
REGIONAL SCOUTS - Nick Skerlick, Jon Lounsbury, John Holt
Family Practice Physician - Dr. Mike Flores
Team Dentist - Dr. Dave Duncan
Chiropractor - Dr. Joshua Auzeenne
Total Physical Therapy - Tom Weaber
PARKER SPORTS MEDICINE AND ORTHOPEDICS