Joe Ferras, Head Coach
Joe Ferras has more than a decade of coaching experience, including 8 years as a head coach in the Central Hockey League.
Heading into the 2011-12 campaign, Ferras is 7th all-time in CHL games coached (510) and wins (265). He is 27 wins from tying Garry Unger for sixth all-time in wins and needs 58 games to tie Unger for sixth all time in games coached. Ferras has also coached in 70 playoff games and has posted an overall record of 266-201-43 for a .564 winning percentage.
The Brantford, Ontario native is coming off of his second-consecutive 40-win season in 2010-11, guiding the Rush to a second-straight Conference Finals appearance. The veteran skipper also continued to propel players to higher levels, facilitating numerous call-ups to the American Hockey League (AHL).
In the 2009-10 regular season, Ferras guided the Rush to a personal and franchise best 43 wins, earning a Northern Conference regular season title. The conference title and playoff berth were both firsts for the young franchise. For his efforts, Ferras was named CHL Coach of the Year. In the postseason, Ferras guided the Rush through three rounds and an eventual Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Championship, becoming the fourth team in league history to win the championship in only its second season.
After beginning his head coaching career with the Amarillo Rattlers during the 2001-02 season, Ferras helped to rebuild Amarillo Professional Hockey and make it one of the most successful small-market programs in the CHL. Ferras took over the newly named Amarillo Gorillas and in four consecutive years guided them to the playoffs. Only one other coach in CHL history (Terry Ruskowski - Laredo Bucks) has this accomplishment on his resume. Ferras coached Amarillo in 38 playoff contests including two trips to the CHL semi-finals before losing to the Laredo Bucks in each of those series. Ferras is the winningest coach in Amarillo history including four consecutive 30-win seasons, most home wins, and most road victories.
In 2003-2004, Ferras was the recipient of the Rick Kozuback Award for perseverance and commitment to the game, sport, and business of hockey. In that same year, Ferras was runner-up for the Coach of the Year Award.
Following the success Ferras enjoyed coaching in Amarillo, he signed with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League in the summer of 2006 to be an Assistant Coach with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. While at Bridgeport, Ferras was responsible for working with the forwards and special teams as well as playing a key role in the development of top Islanders’ prospects.
After a season in the AHL, Ferras was hired to start the expansion Rapid City Rush as Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations. In the first season behind the bench in Rapid City, Ferras’ squad accumulated 22 wins and 53 points, good enough for 3rd in the Northwest Division. Ferras also helped send several players to AHL camps which included the franchise’s first call-ups to the AHL.
Prior to coaching, Joe Ferras enjoyed an excellent playing career that was highlighted by four years at Plattsburgh State University in which he shattered virtually every scoring record including the top scorer in NCAA history that still stands today. Ferras was a two-time All-American and his number was retired by Plattsburgh in 2002.
In 1988, Ferras began his professional hockey career by signing a free-agent contract with the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings (Affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings) that went on to win the Calder Cup Championship in 1991. In his 13 years as a professional, Ferras played several years in the top leagues in Europe including Italy and England and also played in the ECHL with Richmond Renegades and Winston-Salem Thunderbirds.
In 1999-2000, as a member of the New Mexico Scorpions of the Western Professional Hockey League, Ferras’ playing career came to an end when he suffered a career-ending eye injury. At the time of the injury, he was leading the Western Professional Hockey League in scoring and was named to the first team All-Star as the starting center. As Ferras’ playing days came to a sudden end, it was the beginning of a new era in his career where he was able to take his vast experience, knowledge of the game, and strong work ethic and implement these assets into the successful coach he is today.
Romeo Vivit, Head Equipment Manager
Romeo Vivit enters into his third season with the Rapid City Rush as the Head Equipment Manager after being blessed with a Championship in his first season (2009-2010) and having the honor of being selected by his peers as the “Gunnar Garrett Equipment Manager of the Year” in only his second season (2010-2011). Since he was given the award, he is expected to work as the Equipment Manager for the CHL All-Stars at the 2012 CHL All-Star Game in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Vivit is responsible for the day-to-day hockey operations of sharpening skates, setting up dressing rooms, ordering and maintaining gear, laundering and sewing uniforms/apparel, and controlling inventory both at home and on the road.
Originally from Park Ridge, Illinois, Vivit earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training from National American University in Rapid City. He considers Rapid City to be his home after having lived there for more than 12 years.
When time permits, Vivit enjoys playing hockey and coaching as well as, developing the life skills of the youth within the Rapid City Community. He also enjoys spending time with his family, fitness training, playing guitar, golfing, and gourmet cooking.
Bobby Moore, Athletic TrainerBobby Moore, a native of San Marcos, Texas, has been with the Laredo Bucks for the previous ten seasons prior to coming to the Rapid City Rush. He graduated with a degree in P.E. in 1985 from Southwest Texas State. Then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his Masters degree in School Health. While at UT Moore was a graduate assistant athletic trainer from 1985-87, and then from 1987-89 was a full-time assistant athletic trainer for the Longhorns. From 1989-98 he was the head athletic trainer at Southwest Texas State. In 1999 and 2000 he served as the head athletic trainer for the Scottish Claymores of NFL-Europe, and in 2001 was the head athletic trainer for the L as Vegas Outlaws of the XFL. During the summers of 1999-2001 was a pre-season camp assistant athletic trainer for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. Moore was named the 2006 CHL Athletic Trainer of the Year, has made four all-star game appearances and has won two CHL Championship rings (2004,2006).
Dr. Christopher Dietrich, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Dietrich is the medical director for the Rapid City Rush. He works with our medical team to evaluate, treat, and coordinate care for our players.
Dr. Dietrich is a Huron South Dakota native. He is a graduate of The University of South Dakota School of Medicine. He completed his residency and specialty training at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. While at Mayo Dr. Dietrich was elected chief resident. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, and Sports Medicine.
He currently works at The Rehab Doctors with Dr. Lawlor, Vonderau, and Anderson. Dr. Dietrich is also the director of the Rapid City Concussion Project, a visiting physician at the United States Olympic Training Center, a Titleist Performance Institute Level 3 Certified Evaluator, and a team physician for the United States Ski Team. He is also an executive committee member with the South Dakota State Medical Association, vice president of the Black Hills Medical Society, and co-chair of the ethics committee at Rapid City Regional Hospital. He was awarded the South Dakota State Medical Association's Outstanding Young Physician Award in 2009, and the Community Service Award in 2011.
Dr Dietrich and his wife Angie have three children. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Dietrich is active as a youth coach for Rushmore Hockey Association, Canyon Lake Little League, and Rushmore Soccer Club.
The Rehab Doctors are at 1136 Jackson Blvd. Call 605-721-7246 for appointments. www.therehabdoctors.com
Scott Benson, Strength and Conditioning Coach
Scott Benson has over 10 years experience in training and coaching athletes.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Exercise Science from Iowa State University. He owns Benson Sports Training, LLC, Addara, LLC and is President of Jockstock Athletics.
A 2008 inductee into the Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame, Scott Benson, is one of the top Track and Field athletes in the history of South Dakota. The former All American High Jumper had an outstanding career at Stevens High School in Rapid City, SD where he was ranked 2nd in the United States and 11th in the world (18 and under). He went on to Iowa State University in Ames, Ia. Where he was a nationally ranked jumper and won two Big 8 Conference High Jump Championships as well as winning the 1992 Drake Relays High Jump crown. Benson is ranked #2 all time at Iowa State University. Benson still holds the South Dakota State Boys High Jump record of 7'2" set in 1988 and was the first South Dakota high school athlete to jump 7'.
Scott Benson is a long time resident of Rapid City and has been very active in the business community. Benson owned his own finance company for 8 years before selling it and going to work for Wells Fargo in its Private Banking Division. In 2011 Benson made the decision to pursue his passion of working with athletes full time. Benson has served on several boards and helped many charities. He is the incoming Chairperson for the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Member of the Board of Directors for the Black Hills Area Community Foundation and a classroom teacher for Junior Achievement.
Benson is married to his wife, Amanda, and has two daughters Ciara and Addison.