GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are excited to announce that Andrew Lord has been named head coach of the team, effective immediately. Lord, 35, joins the organization from the Cardiff Devils of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) in the United Kingdom, where he has spent the last six seasons as head coach of the organization.
Lord joins the Swamp Rabbits with an immense championship pedigree. He led the Devils to nine separate titles, including three Conference championships, two Challenge Cup championships, two League titles, and two Playoff championships. As the winningest coach in Devils history, he led the team to a 221-75-22 record across his six seasons as head coach.
“I know that Greenville is a great city, the facilities are great, and there is huge potential for this organization,” Lord said. “I’ve been looking for the chance to get back to North America and I think this is a heck of an opportunity here. I’m really looking forward to working with players who want to get to the next level and that is a big motivating factor for me in taking this position.”
Lord’s credentials and intangibles stuck out to Spire Hockey, the majority ownership group of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits organization.
“When we started this process, we knew what we were looking for in a leader—a hard-working, detail-oriented, passionate, cultural fit for our organization,” said Todd Mackin, president of Spire Hockey. “We spoke with a lot of great candidates and it became obvious to me early in the process that Andrew checked all of the boxes. I can guarantee that we will not be outworked with Andrew behind the bench, and that our team will be prepared and disciplined. I look forward to developing with him, selling out our building, and winning a lot of games along the way.”
Jeff Dickerson, co-owner of Spire Sports + Entertainment, agreed.
“Andrew Lord is exactly the kind of coach that our organization and community can rally around. This is a man that was in a great situation in the UK, winning championships, developing serious roots in Cardiff and could have stayed there happily forever,” Dickerson said. “And what does he do? He pushes all-in on our organization, on this city, on what we are trying to build in the Upstate. How could we not choose him? Lots of people say they are willing to bet on themselves, not many people actually do it. He is our kind of guy and we can’t wait to get to work.”
“Speaking with Todd Mackin and Jeff Dickerson from Spire, we had great conversations. I can tell that our values definitely aligned,” Lord added. “I couldn’t be more pleased and more excited to get going in Greenville.”
Teams under his watch made fan interest bloom in earnest. The Devils average attendance went from 1,425 in his first season in 2013–14 to 2,965 during the 2019–20 season.
“I want to see a relentless team, a hard-working team with solid structure. We’re going to be very prepared, and we’re going to play together.” Lord said. “We will close time and space without the puck, and we will play aggressive defensively.”
Not only is Lord committed to hockey excellence, he is committed to community excellence as well. Under his direction, the Devils regularly visited area schools, delivered toys to kids in need during the holiday season, and worked with the development of hockey at the junior level in Cardiff.
“Andrew Lord has built a culture of winning here in Cardiff and has accomplished everything possible in the EIHL,” said Devils managing director Todd Kelman. “As great of a coach that he is, he is a better person and someone fans in Greenville are going to love leading their team.”
Born in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Lord enjoyed a lengthy professional hockey career out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He spent ten seasons in the pro ranks, totaling 462 games. He played three of his ten overall seasons in the ECHL as a member of the Wheeling Nailers, culminating in the 2010–11 season where he served as captain.
Lord climbed the hockey development ladder as far as the American Hockey League, where he suited up in 39 contests with the Rochester Americans, Milwaukee Admirals and Oklahoma City Barons. His best work as a pro was done in the EIHL, where he scored 173 points in 216 games, all with Cardiff.
Lord played junior hockey in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers, where he won a BCHL championship in 2002, and was the team’s MVP and most improved player the year after. He prided himself on his academics, as an honor roll regular in high school, Dean’s List honoree at RPI, a three-time ECAC All-Academic, a two-time RPI scholar-athlete award winner, and in his senior season, was named a finalist for the ECAC Student-Athlete of the Year award. He also earned his MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2016.
Lord will be making the move to the Upstate this summer. A press conference to introduce Andrew Lord as new head coach of the organization will be at a later date to be determined.
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