Andre Niec Returning To Carolina For Third Season

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds are happy to announce the return of the reigning head coach of the year in the FHL, Andre Niec for the 2019-2020 season.

"I am happy to be back in Carolina for year three" Niec said. "There is a lot of work for our organization and team this offseason after the year we had winning the championship and breaking all the records, but I believe that we will be successful again in 19-20."

Niec is returning behind the bench for his third season with a regular season record of 65 wins, 4 overtime wins, 4 overtime losses and 25 regulation losses. His .704 points percentage as a coach ranks him among the highest in FHL coaching history.

"We are thrilled to have Andre back for another season" Thunderbirds GM Jimmy Milliken said. "Coach Niec proved he was the best coach in the league last season with the historic year the Thunderbirds had. This is just another major piece of the puzzle for our run for another championship."

Niec's previous coaching experience saw him as a player-coach in Berlin, New Hampshire with the now-defunct River Drivers. In his two years in Berlin he won a defenseman of the year award one year and an executive of the year award the year after. All told he has three league awards from his time in the FHL as a player and a coach. But it's not awards and accolades that keep Coach Niec going.

"All the talent in the world won’t make you succeed without your brothers, your teammates on and off the ice. We are a family and we will give our best together!" Niec said.

In other staffing news, the Carolina Thunderbirds are happy to announce the return of Karolina Huvarova as team trainer and interpretor.

Additionally, Christy Tate and Tayler Hunt have re-signed with the Thunderbirds organization in their same roles, as has PA voice Stephen Marino. 

Kaitlyn Lusk has also re-signed with Carolina with a promotion to assistant General Manager along with director of game ops responsibilites.


The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its tenth season. The Thunderbirds are looking forward to their third season of play and one where they hope to defend their 2018-19 Commissioner's Cup Championship. The Thunderbirds welcomed in nearly 95,000 people to their home, the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, during their championship run shattering their old team attendance record in the process. Season tickets for 2019-2020 are available now by calling 336-774-4625.