BOISE, Idaho – President of Spire Hockey Todd Mackin announced today via local press conference that the Rapid City Rush has appointed Idaho Steelheads Assistant Coach Scott Burt as the team’s next Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations.“I think it was a long time coming for my coaching career,” said Burt on being named Rush Head Coach. “It comes with mixed emotions for sure. I have great ties here in Idaho, but it’s an opportunity for me to move on to something I’ve been working toward and planning on. I’m excited for the opportunity.”Burt, 44, coached for one season behind the Steelheads bench during the 2019-20 season, helping the Steelheads to a 36-18-7 record and a share of second place in the Mountain Division during the pandemic-shortened season. He led the team’s defensive core and penalty killing units, each of which were among the top-five across the ECHL in overall rating with the third-best penalty kill unit and fourth-best goals against per game. The team would win 11 of their final 13 games before the season’s suspension.Prior to joining the Steelheads, the Mackenzie, B.C. native spent six seasons as the Assistant Coach with the Spokane Chiefs (WHL), also leading their defensive and penalty killing units while helping the Chiefs to WHL Playoff appearances in five of his six seasons and back-to-back 40-win seasons. In 2015-16, he was named an assistant coach for Team Blue at the Canadian U17 Development Camp.Burt joins a Rapid City Rush organization looking for their first playoff appearance since their inaugural ECHL season in 2014-15 following the league merger with the Central Hockey League (CHL). The Rush finished the 2020-21 regular season with a 32-35-4 record with 68 points through 71 games.“The first time I stepped into the rink in Rapid City, I told [Everett Sheen] that it really reminds me of the rink in Anchorage. It has that small, wintery feel. What really gets me excited is a complete overhaul: new culture change, almost a fresh start. Over the last few years, they maybe haven’t had the best years, but now I get an opportunity to hopefully work some of my magic to see what we can accomplish.”
“Burtie is going to be a great head coach,” said Steelheads Head Coach Everett Sheen. “He has a tremendous work ethic, he is incredibly smart hockey-wise, and he is very loyal, which will take him far. He took a huge leap of faith coming to work as an assistant for a young first-year coach, and it paid off for everyone. I learned so much from him while working together, and that will help me as I progress in my career. I’ll miss the friendship that we built over the past two years, but I know that he will put a great team on the ice in Rapid City that will play the game incredibly detailed and structured.”
“We are very excited for Scott and this opportunity to progress his career with the Rapid City Rush,” said Eric Trapp, President of Idaho Sports Properties. “We were very fortunate to have him as an assistant coach as well as a player for seven seasons with two Kelly Cup Championships, and though it’s bittersweet to have him head to a divisional opponent we are even happier that he is able to take the next step in his career. Scott has the tools to be a great head coach: hockey knowledge, work ethic, and the foundation for a strong hockey culture. He and his family will always have a home here in Boise. We wish him all the best in Rapid City in pursuit of his personal goals, and we look forward to hosting him in the future.”This will be the second time that Burt stands behind a division rival’s bench, first serving as Assistant Coach with the Alaska Aces for two seasons in 2011-12 and 2012-13 while helping the Aces to back-to-back 40-win seasons. He also played with the Utah Grizzlies following the 2007 Kelly Cup Championship season then later with the Aces before heading behind the bench.
“I am no stranger to moving to a rival team,” said Burt. “Everybody knows in this game there is a lot of change, especially at this level. For me, it’s a great start. I have so many friends and family here. It’s a great atmosphere here, and I was so thankful that they gave me the opportunity to come back as a coach. Now, I’ll come back as a coach on the other bench. This is just another step in the right direction for me and my career.”In the Steelheads community, Burt is most known for his seven-year tenure in Boise as a forward from 2000-07, crossing through the WCHL and ECHL. In 403 games with the Steelheads, he tallied 111 goals and 139 assists for 250 points with 730 penalty minutes as well as 30 points (12g, 18a) through 78 playoff games, and he was a member of the 2004 and 2007 Kelly Cup Championship teams while serving as an assistant captain for four seasons and was a rotating captain in 2007.He also ranks on the Steelheads All-Time ECHL Career Record Book, sitting third in career games (251) and penalty minutes (443), fifth in career goals (57), sixth in career assists (87), and seventh in career points (144). He is also one of four players to have his number (12) retired with the Steelheads, including Marty Flichel (16), Cal Ingraham (22) and Jeremy Mylymok (4).The Steelheads are back for the 2021-22 season! Season tickets and flex plans are available ahead of the Home Opener on Friday, Oct. 22 against the Utah Grizzlies at Idaho Central Arena. Call the Steelheads Front Office at 208-383-0080 to plan your seats for the return of hockey to Downtown Boise! Stay connected to the Steelheads all summer long on IdahoSteelheads.com or by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.