Wichita Falls Wildcats

The Wichita Falls Wildcats were a Tier II junior ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's South Division. The Wildcats played out of the 7,380-seat Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls, Texas. After failing to find a buyer, the Wildcats ceased operations for the 2017–18 season.

Wichita Falls Wildcats
CityWichita Falls, Texas
Founded1993 (In the AFHL)
Home arenaKay Yeager Coliseum
ColorsBlack, Red, and White
Owner(s)Roy Davoult, Alex Shnayderman
General managerPaul Baxter
Head coachJosh Nelson (interim)
MediaYouTube, FASTHockey
Franchise history
1993–1996Vail Avalanche
1996–2002Butte Irish
2002–2004Wichita Falls Rustlers
2004–2017Wichita Falls Wildcats


Previously known as the Wichita Falls Rustlers (and before this, the Butte Irish of Butte, Montana and the Vail Avalanche of Vail, Colorado), the franchise was a part of the American Frontier/America West Hockey League prior to 2003, and became an NAHL team after the two leagues merged for the 2003–04 season. The Irish, Rustlers, and Wildcats are technically three separate franchises, but with a major overlap of players and coaches between the organizations, they are often listed together as one.

After 13 seasons as the Wildcats, ownership had been trying to sell the franchise to keep it in Wichita Falls during the 2016–17 season. After failing to find a buyer, they announced they would not be operating the team in the 2017–18 season.[1][2]

In 2018, there was an attempt to bring junior hockey back to Wichita Falls with the Wichita Falls Force, a team in the USA Central Hockey League, but the entire league folded after only six weeks of operation. The NAHL later announced a Wichita Falls expansion team for the 2020–21 season.[3]

Season-by-season records

SeasonGPWLOTLPTSGFGAPIMFinishPlayoffsAvg Attend
Vail Avalanche (AFHL)
1993–94Statistics unavailable
1994–95Statistics unavailableLeague Champions
1995–96Statistics unavailable
Butte Irish (AFHL)
1996–97603817581264181N/A2ndLost in Finals
1997–98602533252229264N/A6thDid not qualify
Butte Irish (AWHL)
1998–99603223569224238N/A3rdLost in Semifinals
1999–005823323492052631,2836thLost in 1st Round
2000–01606513151663451,9698thLost in 1st Round
2001–02562128749214240N/A8thLost in 1st Round
Wichita Falls Rustlers (AWHL)
2002–035643112882151151,2551st, SouthLost in Semifinals
Wichita Falls Rustlers (NAHL)
2003–045629207652001721,0393rd, SouthN/A
Wichita Falls Wildcats (NAHL)
2004–055628217632062181,1634th, SouthLost 1st Round, 0–3 vs. Texas Tornado1,948
2005–065826284561711891,0454th, SouthLost 1st Round, 2–3 vs. Texas Tornado1,987
2006–076222346501752271,1265th, SouthDid not qualify1,872
2007–085838182782211811,7153rd, SouthLost 1st Round, 1–3 vs. Fairbanks Ice Dogs1,890
2008–095824259571632031,6953rd, SouthLost 1st Round, 2–3 vs. Topeka RoadRunners1,826
2009–105818346421752511,5305th, SouthDid not qualify1,907
2010–115826275571891901,5274th, SouthLost Div. Semifinals, 2–3 vs. Topeka RoadRunners1,894
2011–126020355451492041.1346th, SouthDid not qualify2,038
2012–136026304561832009555th, SouthDid not qualify1,895
2013–146031254661701571,1704th, SouthLost Div. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. Amarillo1,506
2014–156039165832421828583rd, SouthWon Play-in series, 2–0 vs. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Lost 1st Round, 1–3 vs. Topeka RoadRunners
2015–166044115932241411,0931st, SouthWon Div. Semifinals, 3–0 vs. Odessa Jackalopes
Won Div. Finals, 3–0 vs. Topeka RoadRunners
Won Robertson Cup Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Bismarck Bobcats
Lost Robertson Cup Championship Game, 0–2 vs. Fairbanks Ice Dogs
2016–176029247651872031,6724th, SouthLost Div. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. Lone Star Brahmas1,086

Notable alumni


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