From youth player to coach: Ayers comes full-circle with Tigers
Last summer when Kevin Holmstrom was named the head coach of the Colorado Springs Tigers’ 18U AAA team, he knew who he wanted behind the bench with him: Cody Ayers.
“I received a message during the summer from Kevin asking me to meet for coffee,” said Ayers. “At that time, we discussed the opportunity for me to be his assistant coach for the 18U team during the upcoming season.”
Ayers actually played for Holmstrom during his playing days for the Tigers in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“There are so many memories that it’s hard to narrow them down,” said Ayers, now 29. “The opportunity to play with players like Trevor Lewis, Ben Holmstrom, Mike Testwuide and Jeff Dimmen, just to name a few, that have gone on to have so much success in the sport, is definitely special to me.”
After a two-year junior career in Canada’s Central Junior Hockey League, Ayers went on to play NCAA Division III hockey at Castleton State College, where he majored in Business Marketing with a focus on Sports Administration, and two years of pro hockey in the Federal Hockey League.
Now, he’s back in his hometown.
“It’s amazing and I am honored to now be on the other side of things and see what happens behind the scenes,” Ayers said. “From what I have learned over the last few months, it makes me appreciate even more all of the things that Kevin did for us as players growing up. I am also thankful to our director Brian Copeland for giving me this opportunity to learn from him as well.”
So is coaching something Ayers wants to pursue as a career?
“I would love the opportunity to make coaching my career,” said Ayers. “I feel like there is a lot I can give back to the game and the association that gave me all of my opportunities.”
— Matt Mackinder