John Gurskis

John Gurskis was hired as the ninth head coach in Ice Bears history ahead of the 2024-25 season. A native of Brockton, Mass., Gurskis comes to Knoxville after five seasons as an assistant coach for the Wichita Thunder in the ECHL. Prior to Wichita, he spent 11 seasons with the South Shore Kings where he oversaw GM and head coaching responsibilities for the club’s USPHL Premier, 18U and 16U programs.

Gurskis, 48, is no stranger to Knoxville hockey. He played 536 professional games as a player. He played against the Knoxville Speed in the UHL while in Fort Wayne in 1999 and spent parts of four seasons in the SPHL with Macon, Florida and Pee Dee/Twin City. He fulfilled the role of a player-assistant coach while in Macon and Florida.

Before his pro career, Gurskis played four seasons at St. Michael’s College in Vermont where he still remains the program’s all-time leader in points (234), assists (141) and game-winning goals (11). He also holds single-season records for points (82) and assists (48). He lead the Purple Knights to the ECAC Central regular season title his senior year.