ATHENS – The University of Georgia Ice Dogs are pleased to introduce fans to the team’s new head coach for the 2015-16 season, Eric Linkowski.

Linkowski becomes the fourth head coach in the club’s 28-year history.

“I’m honored and humbled to become the next head coach of the University of Georgia Ice Dogs,” Linkowski said. “From my first introduction to the staff and the players, this is a group that is ready to work hard and grind for everything they get. This team will work for everything they achieve, day in and day out. This is a new day and new era for the Ice Dogs and I’m excited to lead this group as we prepare to drop the puck on the 2015-16 season.”

The native of Fairfield, Conn. comes to the Ice Dogs with over 30 years of experience in ice hockey, including a seven-year coaching stint with John Jay High School in Brewster, New York where he earned Coach of the Year honors twice during his tenure with the Indians. In both years Linkowski earned Coach of the Year honors, John Jay won the league championship.

Before taking over at John Jay, Linkowski began his coaching career with the Brewster Bulldogs and Westchester Express in Brewster where he coached all levels of youth hockey ranging from the instructional to the elite travel levels.

Prior to coaching, Linkowski had a professional playing career that spanned over seven seasons from the CHL to ECHL levels, including stints with the Macon Whoopee and South Carolina Stingrays, two teams familiar to many hockey fans in the state of Georgia. He tallied over 60 points in 169 games during pro career.

New head coach Eric Linkowski poses with a young fan following a Chesapeake Ice Breakers game.

New head coach Eric Linkowski poses with a young fan following a Chesapeake Ice Breakers game. Linkowski played in Chesapeake during the 1998-99 season.

Linkowski played four years at the University of Connecticut from 1994-1998, tallying over 40 points during his time with the Huskies, completing his bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1998. Linkowski was also named an All-American and to the All-Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference team following his senior season.

Eric is the Owner and Operator of Financial Billing Recovery, a financial billing and recovery firm in Hoschton, Georgia. He has a dog, Avery, named after former NHL enforcer, Sean Avery.

“I’m ecstatic to announce Coach Link as our new head coach,” UGA Hockey President Alex Carey said. “This marks not only a new coach, but a new era for UGA Hockey, one that I cannot wait to see where he leads us. His professional playing experience and elite coaching work to this point in his career will be invaluable to the players and staff. We know nothing will be given to us, and we’re going to have work for everything we earn on and off the ice.”

Coach Linkowski’s appointment completes the Ice Dogs’ 2015-16 coaching staff. Be sure to check back to UGAHockey.com for more updates as the team looks forward to opening the 2015-16 season Tuesday, September 8 against Southeastern Hockey Conference Hockey rival Auburn at the State of the Art Classic Center Arena.

Full season memberships and single game tickets are still available for the 2015-16 Ice Dogs Hockey season! To catch the fastest game on ice in downtown Athens, fans can visit the Classic Box Office at 300 North Thomas Street, call the Classic Center Box at 706-357-4444, or visit the Classic Center’s website, www.classiccenter.com.