Club Members and their guest will have the opportunity to hear from Steve Donner and Kevin Kerr of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Hockey team on October 22nd. They will be talking about the new season of Swamp Rabbits hockey and the their new two new affiliations with Carolina Hurricane and Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.
Steve Donner led the formation of the multi-member ownership group known as South Carolina Pro Hockey, LLC, in order to purchase the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on January 3, 2018. He has since relocated to Greenville from Daytona Beach, Florida, to become president of the franchise.
Donner is no stranger to success in professional hockey, with over 27 years of experience in professional sports. The Rochester, New York native served as team owner, president and CEO of the AHL’s Rochester Americans for 13 years from 1995 to 2008. Donner’s early efforts were rewarded in 1996 for his contributions to the league, earning recognition as the most outstanding executive through the James C. Hendy Memorial Award. The Amerks went on to capture the 1997 Calder Cup Championship that season, one of ten championships that Donner has been a part of throughout his career.
Prior to his work in Rochester, Donner was the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the inaugural season of the NHL franchise. He helped improve the organization and build its average attendance from 10,000 fans in the inaugural season of 1992, to over 22,000 fans in the club’s second season. Since his tenure with the Americans, Donner has been a part of multiple ventures in Florida including the start-up of the Orlando City Soccer Club.
Kevin Kerr was named the third head coach in franchise history on May 23, 2018, and enters his second season in the role. He brings 18 years of playing experience, many of it at a professional level, and an additional 14 years as a coach to the Swamp Rabbits organization. Kerr boasts eleven years of head coaching experience, spanning six different franchises, and captured a 2017 President’s Cup title with the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL.
Kerr, 52, is a native of North Bay, Ontario, and has coached in the SPHL, the EHL, the IHL, and the UHL. During his three-year stint in Macon, Kerr compiled a 94-56-18 record, and qualified for the postseason in all three years under his direction.
Kerr began his coaching career as head coach of the North Bay Skyhawks of the NOJHL in 2005, and produced a third-place finish behind a 30-18-0 record. The following year, he rejoined the Flint Generals organization behind the bench after playing eight seasons with the club. Kerr spent two years with the organization as head coach in the UHL from 2006 to 2007, and in the IHL from 2007 to 2008. For the next five seasons, he coached several organizations at the junior hockey level, including the New York Bobcats, and the Green Mountain Glades.
Kerr had a successful playing career in the minor leagues, retiring from the game in 2005. When Kerr hung up his skates, he scored a record 677 goals in his 18 seasons across six leagues and 15 organizations, and earned 3,706 PIMs. His longest tenure with a club was spent with Flint, where he competed in 417 games, tallied 674 points (356 goals, 318 assists), and accrued 1,421 PIMs. After playing eight seasons with the Generals, and leading the franchise in points and goals, Kerr became one of only two players to have his number retired by the team.
Kerr was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the third round of the 1986 NHL Draft. After logging four seasons in the OHL with the Windsor Compuware Spitfires, he began his pro career with the Rochester Americans in the 1987–88 season, and led the team in PIMs with 352, in addition to 29 points (18 goals, 11 assists). He helped capture an AHL championship with the Portland Pirates under head coach Barry Trotz, and win a Turner Cup title with the Flint Generals, and was the 1994 CoHL MVP.