ROANOKE, Va. – The Rail Yard Dawgs announced Friday that Travis Armstrong and Nick DeVito have been appointed as assistant coaches for the 2023-2024 season. The pair of former Dawgs will join incumbent assistant coach Ian Roberts on the staff for head coach Dan Bremner.
“I’m excited to have two former Dawgs joining me in the coaches’ office this season,” said Bremner. “Armstrong and DeVito have made major impacts on the ice as Dawgs players, and now we’ll be looking for them to add their experience and expertise to help our guys perform at their best. With the addition of Armstrong and DeVito, along with keeping Ian on board and focused on our goaltending, I feel we are going to be able to offer our players the most comprehensive coaching in the league.”
A native of Smith Falls, Ontario, Armstrong has appeared on the Rail Yard Dawgs roster each season since the team’s inception. The six-foot-five ex-defenseman originally joined the team after being selected first overall in the 2016 SPHL expansion draft. Armstrong served as the Dawgs’ captain from 2019-22, and he ranks second all-time in franchise history for games played with 178, as well as ranking as the all-time leader for points by a defenseman with 96. In nine seasons as a player, Armstrong appeared in 334 combined regular season games in the ECHL and SPHL. Armstrong has prior coaching experience with youth teams in the Roanoke Valley, and is also a firefighter/EMT with Roanoke County Fire & Rescue.
DeVito played for the Rail Yard Dawgs in each of the last two seasons, providing major contributions for the Dawgs en route to Roanoke’s first-ever President’s Cup title last season. The five-foot-nine winger led all SPHL players during the 2023 postseason in goals (six) and points (11) after finishing the regular season with 12 goals and 24 assists. The 28-year-old played in 92 games for the Dawgs, and also appeared in 13 career ECHL games. The Averill Park, New York native graduated from SUNY-Morrisville (NCAA-DIII) in 2020, and is also an analyst for a health insurance company.
Roberts is entering his third season with the Rail Yard Dawgs, and his second as assistant coach. During the 2021-22 season, he worked as the team’s goaltending coach before being appointed as the team’s assistant coach last season. The Michigan native has spent over a decade coaching goaltenders of all levels, ranging from youth to professional, and has been involved in the local hockey community since relocating to Roanoke in 2020.
The Rail Yard Dawgs will raise a championship banner to kick off the 2023-2024 season on Friday, October 20. Single game tickets for Opening Night and all other home games go on sale September 20 at Berglund Center box office and online. Season tickets and other packages are on sale now through the Dawgs’ front office.
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