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The Pensacola Ice Flyers minor league hockey team on Thursday announced the hire of Jeff Bes as the team’s head coach for the 2017-18 season.

New Ice Flyers head coach Jeff Bes. (Pensacola Ice Flyers/Special to The Pulse)

“I’m honored to be selected as the next head coach of the Ice Flyers and I would like to thank Greg Harris and the organization for this exciting opportunity,” Bes said. “I’ve looked over the protected list and we’ll have a good core of players. I’m looking forward to getting in touch with them and recruiting quality players around them to build our team for a successful season.”

Bes was the head coach of the Fayetteville FireAntz for the last two seasons and led them to a second place finish this past season. His team has the highest home winning percentage over the last season with a home record of 39-12-5. He started his coaching career with the Mississippi Surge, immediately after finishing his pro playing career.

“Jeff has worked very hard in the coaching ranks and I’ve been very impressed with his development over the years as a head coach in the SPHL,” said Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris. “We’re looking forward to seeing him behind the bench this fall.”

Bes had an extremely successful playing career, which includes 18 seasons at the pro level in North America and in Europe. He spent his last eight seasons with the Laredo Bucks of the CHL, winning two championships and accumulating 640 points in 458 games. Bes is a former Pensacola Ice Pilot, playing 48 games and tallying 68 points during the 2000-01 season. He also won a gold medal when he represented Team Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships in 1992-93.

“Jeff brings coaching and playing experience that our players can relate to and his leadership is a great addition to the organization both on and off the ice,” Harris added.

“Our team will be very active and hard-working on the ice and off the ice in the community,” said Bes. “We’re going to bring an exciting brand of hockey to Pensacola and build off of the team’s past success and create our own success. I want to thank everyone in Fayetteville and Biloxi for everything they did for me, and I look forward to seeing them around the arena.”

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