HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears revealed Thursday that the team had promoted Scott Allen to the 27th head coach in team history. Additionally, Steve Bergin was hired as the team’s assistant coach.
Allen joined the Bears prior to the start of the 2019-20 campaign and has 25 years of coaching experience at the NHL, AHL, and ECHL ranks. Bergin makes the leap from Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, who he coached to the Kelly Cup Finals this past season. The announcement was made by Hershey Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer and Washington Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan.
“We are thrilled to promote Scott Allen to head coach of the Hershey Bears. He’s done a great job over the past two years in Hershey, and his familiarity with our organization will make this a seamless transition. Scott is well-respected and has a long resume of invaluable experience, bringing a tireless work ethic to everything he does. His desire to develop our players in a winning culture makes him a perfect fit for our historic franchise. We’re also excited to welcome Steve Bergin to our coaching staff. He comes highly regarded by our ECHL affiliate in South Carolina and is an award-winning coach that will help lead us to further success.” -Helmer said in the team’s official release.
Many of the same qualities Helmer mentioned in his quote describing Allen reflect on his predecessor Spencer Carbery, who was promoted to the NHL ranks with the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this summer.
Allen’s coaching experience includes a stint from 2009-2012 coaching Matt Moulson and the New York Islanders, and was promoted to head coach of the Portland Pirates during the 2015-16 season, where he guided the team to a playoff berth and a first-round exit in five games to the Bears. The 55-year-old has over 1,800 games of coaching experience and helped guide the Bears to a first-place finish in the AHL during the 2021 season.
“We are pleased to promote Scott and name him as the next head coach of the Bears. Scott brings many years of coaching experience, and in addition to his familiarity with our organization, we are confident our prospects will continue to grow and head in the right direction under his guidance.” – Brian MacLellan
Bergin has been with the Stingrays since 2016 and was promoted to head coach before the 2019-20 season, where the team had the ECHL’s best regular-season record at 44-14-4 and locking up a playoff berth before the season came to an early end. He was awarded the John Brophy Award as the ECHL’s Coach of the Year and guided the Stingrays to an appearance in the Kelly Cup Finals in 2017.
Bergin’s teams have a penchant for strong defense as the Stingrays set a record for the best defense in league history during the 2017-18 season and were the best defensive club in the ECHL during the 2019-20 season.
The position as head coach of the Bears is a coveted one, and it speaks volumes about the duo that they received such recognition. Hershey opens the 2021-22 season on October 16 at Giant Center against the Charlotte Checkers, and it will be up to the pair to help guide the players on the ice to greater heights at the AHL returning to full-season play.
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