AHL’s Eagles tab longtime assistant Schneekloth as team’s new head coach
A familiar face will be staying behind the Colorado Eagles’ bench for the 2023-24 season as last week, Aaron Schneekloth was named head coach of the Eagles.
Schneekloth takes over for Greg Cronin, who was named the new head coach for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks last month.
Schneekloth has spent the last 10 years on the Eagles’ coaching staff, which included a pair of championship seasons as the team’s head coach while the Eagles were the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. He led the Eagles, now the Avs’ AHL affiliate, to back-to-back Kelly Cup titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18, posting a 95-38-11 (.698) combined regular-season record followed by a 32-12 playoff mark. The Calgary native finished runner-up for ECHL Coach of the Year in both campaigns.
Including his final seven years as a player, the upcoming 2023-24 campaign will mark Schneekloth’s 18th consecutive season with the Eagles organization.
“Aaron has been a valuable member of the Eagles’ coaching staff for a decade now,” said Avalanche assistant GM Kevin McDonald. “He has head coaching experience, is passionate about development and teaching, and brings a championship mentality having won both as a coach and player. We are excited to have him lead our group up north.”
“I am very grateful to both the Avalanche and Eagles for this opportunity,” said Schneekloth. “The Eagles organization and Northern Colorado have been my home for nearly 20 years and I am proud of everything we have accomplished there. Thank you to the Kroenke family, Joe Sakic, Chris MacFarland and Kevin McDonald for their trust in me and for giving me the chance to lead their AHL franchise. I would also like to thank Martin Lind, Ryan Bach and the entire Eagles organization for their many years of support and friendship. I am excited and ready for this challenge and look forward to the season.”
Schneekloth, who turns 45 on July 15, has served as the Eagles’ assistant coach for the past five seasons since 2018-19. He began his coaching career with the ECHL Eagles in 2013-14 and spent three years in that role before taking over the head coaching position in 2016-17.
“I couldn’t be happier for Aaron and his new role in the Eagles organization,” said Eagles president Ryan Bach. “I feel he has every quality the Colorado Avalanche is looking for in a head coach for its AHL affiliate. He will have an opportunity to build an environment and culture of high performance, hard work and accountability. He is a character individual who is perfect to lead the Colorado Eagles.”
A former defenseman, Schneekloth played 11 seasons professionally, including the last seven in an Eagles sweater, helping the team win a CHL championship in 2007. He was named the ECHL’s Defenseman of the year in 2012, while being voted the CHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman in both 2009 and 2010. A four-time All-Star and a member of both the CHL’s All-Decade Team and the Colorado Eagles All-Decade Team, Schneekloth was also named to the All-ECHL Team in 2012 and was voted to the All-CHL Team on three separate occasions (2008, 2009, 2010).
Schneekloth retired in 2013 as the Eagles’ all-time leader in points (356), goals (111) and assists (245) by a defenseman.
Prior to turning pro, Schneekloth won an NCAA championship with the University of North Dakota in 2000.
(July 10, 2023)