Bill Coffey was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the ECHL. Along with inaugural ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Henry Brabham, Coffey came up with the idea to form the league during the summer of 1988. He was the original owner of the Knoxville Cherokees, and also assisted in establishing the Erie Panthers, giving the league five teams for its inaugural season in 1988-89. He also established one of the ECHL’s first expansion teams, the Greensboro Monarchs, who entered the league in 1989-90.
Sheldon Gorski began playing in the ECHL as a rookie in 1990-91 with the Louisville IceHawks, and went on to play eight season in the league with the Icehawks, Louisville RiverFrogs, Miami Matadors and Pensacola Ice Pilots. He ranks sixth in ECHL history with 316 goals and 608 points, and is tied for fifth with a 0.67 goals-per game average. Three times during his career, Gorski scored 50 or more goals, including a career-high 56 in 1991-92. He was an All-ECHL Second Team selection in 1990-91 and was named to the All-ECHL First Team in 1991-92. Gorski played in the 1993 and 1998 ECHL All-Star Games, tallying five assists, which is tied for third all time. He is one of just three players in league history to tally 100 or more points in consecutive seasons (1990-91 and 1991-92).
John Marks ranks as one of the most successful coaches in the ECHL’s 24-year history. He joined the league as head coach of the expansion Charlotte Checkers in 1993-94 and won at least 35 games nine times. He posted an all-time record of 491-422-95 in 15 seasons as an ECHL head coach with Charlotte, Greenville, Pensacola and Augusta, and is the league’s all-time leader in games coached (1,008), wins (491) and seasons (15). His teams also excelled during the postseason as he led Charlotte to the 1996 Riley Cup championship and Greenville to the 2002 Kelly Cup championship, joining 2009 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee John Brophy as the only coaches to win both a Riley Cup and Kelly Cup title. His 10 postseason appearances are second behind only Brophy, while his 81 postseason games coached are third and his 45 wins are tied for third.
Dave Seitz played in 489 games over eight seasons with the South Carolina Stingrays. He ranks sixth in ECHL history with 384 assists, is 10th with 587 points and is 19th with 217 goals. Seitz was part of South Carolina’s 1997 and 2001 Kelly Cup championship teams, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2001 Kelly Cup Playoffs after leading the postseason with 15 assists and 28 points and tying for the lead with 13 goals. His 73 postseason points are tied for seventh all-time, while his 44 assists are tied for ninth and his 29 goals are tied for 13th. Seitz played in the 1998 and 1999 ECHL All-Star Games, and is tied for third in All-Star history with five career assists.
Bob Woods ranks sixth in ECHL history with 599 games played, and is the all-time leader among defensemen with 159 goals, over 10 seasons with Johnstown, Hampton Roads, Mobile, Tallahassee and Mississippi. He is eighth all-time with 364 assists and his 523 points are 22nd all-time. Both marks are second among defensemen, trailing only 2008 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee Chris Valicevic. Woods holds the ECHL record for shots on goal in a game with 17 on March 14, 1998 and was an All-ECHL Second Team selection three times (1996-97, 1998-99 and 2000-01). Woods, who led ECHL defensemen in points in 1996-97 and in goals in 1998-99, was part of Mississippi’s 1999 Kelly Cup championship team. Following his retirement as a player, he was head coach of the Sea Wolves from 2001-2005.