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Sam Ftorek relieved of Rail Yard Dawgs coaching duties

Former Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs head coach Sam Ftorek speaks with the media after a fall workout. (Photo: Dave Walls/WSET)

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET/Rail Yard Dawgs) – The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs and General Manager Mickey Gray announced on Monday that Sam Ftorek has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach. Dan Bremner has been hired as his replacement.

“On behalf of the McGinn family, the local owners and my staff, I’d like to thank Sam for his efforts in getting our organization off the ground,” Gray said. “Unfortunately we haven’t yet seen the results we were hoping for and feel that it’s best to take it in a different direction.”

Ftorek was hired as the first coach in franchise history in April of 2016. Over 74 games in their two seasons, the Rail Yard Dawgs have a record of 22-41-11.

Bremner spent each of his six professional seasons in the SPHL playing for the Knoxville Ice Bears, Columbus Cottonmouths and Peoria Rivermen. He served as captain of the Rivermen for the past two seasons.

“I’m hugely excited and grateful for this opportunity,” Bremner said. “When something like this comes knocking, you don’t turn it down.”

The gritty forward played in 281 career SPHL games and totaled 48 goals, 79 assists and 709 penalty minutes. He retired following the 2016-17 campaign and was hired as an assistant coach at Ohio University.

“In speaking with Mickey, we have the same vision for the way the way we want this team to look,” Bremner said. “I want to build a fast and physical team that is both exciting for the fans and can win on the ice.”

“I’m excited about what Dan will bring to the position,” Gray said. “Having watched him as a player he was always extremely tough to play against. We’re looking forward to him bringing that same quality to our team.”

“It’s not an ideal situation to be stepping in mid-season and I know this will be a huge challenge but I’m looking forward to meeting it,” Bremner said.

The Rail Yard Dawgs return to action on Friday night on the road against the Evansville Thunderbolts. Puck drop at the Ford Center is scheduled for 7:15 PM CST.

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