INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Former Odessa Jackalope Scott Hillman was introduced at a news conference Tuesday as Independence Professional Hockey's first head coach and director of hockey operations.
Hillman, 35, joins the Central Hockey League (CHL) expansion franchise after capturing back-to-back regular season and playoff titles as the head coach with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). During Hillman's two seasons with the Ice Bears, his team compiled a record of 67-32-13 (.660), and he was named the SPHL Coach of the Year in 2008-09.
Hillman had a stellar nine-season professional playing career, including his final eight seasons with the CHL's Odessa Jackalopes. The offensive defenseman was a four-time CHL All Star, and is the Jackalopes all-time leader in games played (446), and assists (260). He finished his career as the second leading scorer in club history with 326 points, and ranks among the top scoring defenseman in CHL history.
The 2001-02 CHL Man of the Year graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics Degree in 1999. He later received a Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2002, compiling a 4.0 grade point average.
Hillman completed his amateur career as the leading scoring defenseman in Windsor Lancer history. He led the Lancers to two consecutive trips to the National Championship Tournament. In 1998 he was honored with the Frank Demarco Award - recognized as Windsor's outstanding male academic student athlete.