|2017–18 SPHL season|
|City||Fayetteville, North Carolina|
|League||Southern Professional Hockey League|
|Home arena||Crown Coliseum|
|Colors||Black, orange, olive, cream
|Owner(s)||Jeffrey M. Longo
|General manager||Jeffrey M. Longo|
|Head coach||Nick Mazzolini|
|Media||The Fayetteville Observer|
|2002–2004||Cape Fear FireAntz|
|Regular season titles||1 (2012–13)|
|Playoff championships||1 (2007)|
The Fayetteville Marksmen are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in Fayetteville, North Carolina. They currently play in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) and play their home games in the Crown Coliseum.
The team, originally known as the Cape Fear FireAntz, began play in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League in the 2002–03 season. After the league's collapse, they joined the South East Hockey League for the 2003–04 season and then what would become the SPHL in 2004 as the Fayetteville FireAntz. Since their inception, they have won the 2007 SPHL championship and made a number of playoff appearances.
ACHL and SEHL years
The team, then known as the Cape Fear FireAntz, joined the fledgling Atlantic Coast Hockey League for the 2002–03 season. Their first coach was Shawn Ulrich. After the season David Waronker announced he was withdrawing his four teams from the unstable league to form the World Hockey Association 2. The FireAntz and other remaining ACHL teams formed the South East Hockey League. They played the SEHL for the 2003–04 season, with Scott Rex serving as coach.
In 2004, teams from the SEHL and WHA2 joined together to form the league now known as the Southern Professional Hockey League. The FireAntz joined the new league, changing their name to Fayetteville FireAntz, abandoning the reference to the nearby Cape Fear River. Derek Booth took over as head coach in 2004 and after two seasons behind the bench, he left to coach the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the United Hockey League.
In the 2006–07 season, under the guidance of head coach John Marks, the FireAntz advanced to the finals of the league's post-season playoffs for the first time in team history. The first two games of the best-of-five finals were won by Fayetteville on the FireAntz' home ice, before the series returned to Jacksonville, Florida, where the Jacksonville Barracudas won game three of the series by a 3-2 score. The FireAntz won the fourth game of the series by a score of 5-3 to win the President's Cup. It was the first championship for the FireAntz, and Fayetteville's first professional sports championship in 51 years. Head coach Marks resigned after the team's championship run to take the head coach position with the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the ECHL. Shortly after Marks' resignation the FireAntz announced that former Florida Seals coach, Tommy Stewart, had been hired to coach the team for the 2007–2008 season.
Tommy Stewart was let go after the 2010–11 season and was soon replaced by Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees' assistant coach, Sean Gillam. Gillam would only last partway through the season; on February 17, 2012, the FireAntz replaced him with Todd Bidner.
Mark DeSantis was hired prior to the 2012–13 season. He led the team to regular season record in the league and won William B. Coffey Trophy and the SPHL's Coach of the Year. However, he left the team after only one season to become the head coach of an expansion team in his hometown, the Brampton Beast.
Greg McCauley was then hired to replace DeSantis for the 2013–14 season but resigned for personal reasons after 32 games. He was replaced by Emery Olauson, who was then kept on until the end of the 2014–15 season.
On February 13, 2017, Jeffrey M. Longo was hired as the general manager. Later in the 2016–17 season, Longo and local entrepreneur Chuck Norris purchased the FireAntz from the seven-person ownership group, Cape Fear Pro Hockey. At the end of the season, the new owners changed the name of the FireAntz to the Fayetteville Marksmen. The change reflects the city of Fayetteville's relationship with the local United States Army post, Fort Bragg, as well as the native Carolina red fox.
|2004–05||SPHL||Derek Booth||Coach of the Year|
|2004–05||SPHL||Chad Collins||Rookie of the Year|
|2005–06||SPHL||Mike Clarke||Defenseman of the Year|
|2006–07||SPHL||Tim Velemirovich||Rookie of the Year|
|2006–07||SPHL||Rob Sich||SPHL MVP|
|2006–07||SPHL||John Marks||Coach of the Year|
|2006–07||SPHL||Chad Collins||SPHL Playoff MVP|
|2012–13||SPHL||Josh McQuade||SPHL MVP|
|2012–13||SPHL||Andrew Smale||Defenseman of the Year|
|2012–13||SPHL||Mark DeSantis||Coach of the Year|
|2016–17||SPHL||Sean Bonar||SPHL MVP and Goaltender of the Year|
- "Fayetteville FireAntz Statistics and History". HockeyDB. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- Pope, Thomas (17 Feb 2012). "Fayetteville FireAntz fire Coach Sean Gillam, bring in Todd Bidner". Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- "Fayetteville FireAntz looking for new coach after canning Emery Olauson". The Fayetteville Observer. April 28, 2015.
- "Jeff Bes hired as head coach by Fayetteville FireAntz". The Fayetteville Observer. May 26, 2015.
- "Fayetteville FireAntz sold to ownership group run by former Fort Bragg soldier". The Fayetteville Observer. April 6, 2017.
- "FIREANTZ REBRAND, BECOME THE FAYETTEVILLE MARKSMEN". Fayetteville Marksmen. May 12, 2017.
- "Bes opts not to return to coach Marksmen". SPHL. June 13, 2017.
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. pp. 103–133. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.