Wranglers Appoints Zirnis as Director of Player Personnel | North American Hockey League
July 22, 2021
The Amarillo Wranglers have appointed Karlis Zirnis as the team’s first director of player personnel.
As the Wranglers prepare for their inaugural season, head coach Harry Mahood knows how important it is to have the right staff to build a roster from scratch.
“Building a roster in the North American Hockey League is a very complex process that requires a wide variety of relationships and a keen eye for hockey talent,” said Mahood. “Karlis and I combined our skills to optimize the list building process in a compressed period of time. “
Zirnis was born in Riga, Latvia, and has an extensive hockey resume both on the ice and behind the bench at many levels of the sport. The Latvian native played college hockey for the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers from 1999 to 2003. Zirnis would go on to play in the Central Hockey League, including a stint with the Amarillo Gorillas. He ended his playing career with the SPHL Huntsville Havoc in 2010.
“Karlis has an impressive international hockey resume and understands the type of players needed to be successful in the North American Hockey League,” said Mahood. “I know Karlis will work tirelessly on behalf of the organization to build the best possible team every season.”
Following his playing career, Zirnis was appointed assistant coach of the Latvian national team for the 2013 IIHF World Championship and also coached at the 2014 Olympics. Zirnis spent three seasons as a coach in the NA3HL before to be named the head coach of the NAHL’s Shreveport Mudbugs expansion in 2016. He would lead Shreveport to a Robertson Cup title in the 2018 season.
Zirnis returns to the NAHL after holding assistant coaching positions at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alabama-Huntsville.
“I look forward to working with Karlis to put the best team on the ice for our fans and the city… His time in college hockey will be a very valuable asset to the whole organization,” said Mahood.
This will be Zirnis’ third time at Amarillo after scouting for the Amarillo Bulls from 2010-2012 and playing for the Gorillas in 2002-03.