|City:||Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States|
|League:|| Cape Fear FireAntz|
Atlantic Coast Hockey League (2002-03)
South East Hockey League (2003-04)
Southern Professional Hockey League (2004-Present)
|Home Arena:||Cumberland County Crown Coliseum|
|Colors:||black, orange, gold, and cream|
|Owner(s):||Jeffrey M. Luongo and Chuck Norris|
|General Manager:||Kevin MacNaught|
|Head Coach:||Jeff Bes|
|2002 - 2003:||Cape Fear Fireantz (ACHL|
|2003-04:||Cape Fear Fireantz (SEHL|
|2004 - 2017:||Fayetteville FireAntz|
|2017 - Present:||Fayetteville Marksmen|
|SPHL President's Cup:||2006-07|
The Fayetteville Marksmen are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S. They currently play in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). They play their home games in the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum.
The team, originally known as the Cape Fear Fireantz, began play in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League in the 2002–2003 season. After the league's collapse they joined the South East Hockey League for the 2003–2004 season, and joined what would become the SPHL in 2005. Since their inception they won the 2007 SPHL championship and have made a number of playoff appearances. The team would be known as the Fayetteville FireAntz from 2004 to 2017 when they were renamed the Marksmen
ACHL and SEHL yearsEdit
The team, then known as the Cape Fear Fireantz, joined the fledgling Atlantic Coast Hockey League for the 2002–2003 season. Their first coach was Shawn Ulrich. After the season David Waronker announced he was withdrawing his four teams from the unstable league to form the World Hockey Association 2. The Fireantz and other remaining ACHL teams formed the South East Hockey League. They played the SEHL for the 2003–2004 season, with Scott Rex serving as coach.
In 2004 teams from the SEHL and WHA2 joined together to form the league now known as the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Fireantz joined the new league, changing their name to "Fayetteville FireAntz", abandoning the reference to the nearby Cape Fear River. Derek Booth took over as head coach in 2004. After two seasons behind the bench, coach Derek Booth left in 2006 to coach the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the United Hockey League.
In the 2006–2007 season, under the guidance of head coach John Marks, the FireAntz advanced to the finals of the league's post-season playoffs for the first time in team history. The first two games of the best-of-five final series were won by Fayetteville on the FireAntz' home ice, before the series returned to Jacksonville, Florida, where the Jacksonville Barracudas won Game 3 of the series by a 3-2 score. On April 18, 2007 the FireAntz won the fourth game of the series by a score of 5-3 to win the SPHL President's Cup. It was the first championship for the FireAntz, and Fayetteville's first professional sports championship in 51 years. John Marks resigned after the team's championship run to take the head coach position with the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the ECHL. Shortly after Marks' resignation the FireAntz announced that former Florida Seals coach, Tommy Stewart, had been hired to coach the team for the 2007–2008 season.
Tommy Stewart was let go after the 2010–2011 season and was soon replaced by Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees' assistant coach, Sean Gillam. Gillam would only last partway through the season; on Feb 17, 2012, the FireAntz replaced him with Todd Bidner.
On February 13, 2017, Jeffrey M. Longo was hired as the general manager. Later in the 2016–17 season, Longo and local entrepreneur Chuck Norris purchased the FireAntz from the seven-person ownership group, Cape Fear Pro Hockey. At the end of the season, the new owners changed the name of the FireAntz to the Fayetteville Marksmen. The change reflects the city of Fayetteville's relationship with the local United States Army post, Fort Bragg, as well as the native Carolina red fox.
|Cape Fear Fire Antz|
|2002–03||60||21||37||2||44||-||-||5th of 6 ACHL||Did not qualify|
|2003–04||56||25||31||-||50||213||221||3rd of 4 SEHL||L, SF 0-2 (Ice Bears)|
|Fayetteville Fire Antz|
|2004–05||56||32||24||-||64||226||158||4th of 8, SPHL||
L, QF 2-4 (Columbus Cottonmouths)
|2005–06||56||31||19||6||68||224||175||4th of 7, SPHL||L, QF 1-2 (Florida Seals)|
|2006-07||56||32||18||6||70||246||205||T-2nd of 8, SPHL||W, QF 2-0 (Havoc)|
W, SF 2-0 (Ice Bears)
W, F 3-1 (Jacksonville Barracudas)
President's Cup Champions
|2007–08||52||25||19||8||58||186||198||3rd of 7, SPHL||W, QF 2-0 (Renegades) L, SF 1-2 (Barracudas)|
|2008-09||60||30||25||5||65||212||224||3rd of 6, SPHL||W, SF 3-2 (Cottonmouths) L, F 2- (Ice Bears)|
|2009–10||56||31||22||3||65||231||213||3rd of 7, SPHL||L, First Round 1-2 (Ice Bears)|
|2010–11||56||22||34||-||44||170||184||7th of 8, SPHL||Did not qualify|
|2011–12||56||19||32||5||43||180||240||9th of 9, SPHL||Did not qualify|
|2012–13||56||35||18||3||73||195||154||T-1st of 9, SPHL||L, QF 0-2 (Huntsville Havoc)|
|2013–14||56||21||30||5||47||144||173||9th of 10, SPHL||Did not qualify|
|2014–15||56||21||27||8||50||143||193||7th of 8, SPHL||Did not qualify|
|2015–16||56||30||21||5||65||167||145||4th of 9, SPHL||W, QF 2-1 (Ice Bears)|
L, SF 0-2 (Rivermen)
|2016-17||56||36||17||3||75||174||130||T-2nd of 10, SPHL||L, QF 0-2 (Ice Flyers)|
|2016-17||56||12||38||6||30||144||252||10th of 10, SPHL||Did not qualify|
|2004–2005||SPHL||Derek Booth||Coach of the Year|
|2004–2005||SPHL||Chad Collins||Rookie of the Year|
|2005–2006||SPHL||Mike Clarke||Defenseman of the Year|
|2006–2007||SPHL||Tim Velemirovich||Rookie of the Year|
|2006–2007||SPHL||Rob Sich||SPHL MVP|
|2006–2007||SPHL||John Marks||Coach of the Year|
|2006–2007||SPHL||Chad Collins||SPHL Playoff MVP|
|2012–2013||SPHL||Josh McQuade||SPHL MVP|
|2012–2013||SPHL||Andrew Smale||Defenseman of the Year|
|2012–2013||SPHL||Mark Desantis||Coach of the Year|
|2016-2017||SPHL||Sean Bonar||SPHL MVP and Goaltender of the Year|
- ↑ http://www.hockeydb.com/stte/fayetteville-fireantz-5725.html
- ↑ http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2011/06/13/1101260?sac=Sports
- ↑ Pope, Thomas. "Fayetteville FireAntz fire Coach Sean Gillam, bring in Todd Bidner", 17 Feb 2012. Retrieved on 28 May 2012.
- ↑ Fayetteville FireAntz sold to ownership group run by former Fort Bragg soldier. The Fayetteville Observer (April 6, 2017).
- ↑ FIREANTZ REBRAND, BECOME THE FAYETTEVILLE MARKSMEN. Fayetteville Marksmen (May 12, 2017).
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd., 103–133. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
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