WINDSOR, CO. – The Colorado Eagles have announced that the team will officially retire Aaron Schneekloth’s number 23 and Brad Williamson’s number 27 to the rafters of the Budweiser Events Center during a special ceremony at the Eagles game against the Manitoba Moose on Friday, March 22nd. The pair rank first and second, respectively among all defensemen in Eagles history in nearly every major statistical category. They will join Greg Pankewicz, Riley Nelson, Ryan Tobler, Chris Stewart and Ralph Backstrom as the only players or staff to receive such an accolade.
“This is such an incredible opportunity to recognize two of the true pillars of this organization,” said Eagles president and general manager Chris Stewart. “The duo of Aaron Schneekloth and Brad Williamson represents arguably the best two defensemen to have ever pulled on an Eagles sweater. Aaron’s success on the ice was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the leadership and work ethic that he demonstrated every single day. That dedication allowed him to transition so smoothly and successfully into the world of coaching. Brad was another player who consistently made his presence felt amongst his teammates in the locker room. He never shied away from paying the price to achieve our goals of winning a championship and it was contagious to everyone around him. He would never settle for anything less than the best from himself and his numbers reflect that commitment.”
Schneekloth is in his first season on Greg Cronin’s staff as an assistant coach after leading the Eagles to back-to-back Kelly Cup Championships in his two seasons as the team’s bench boss in the ECHL. Schneekloth finished 2nd in the ECHL's Coach of the Year voting during his each of his first two seasons, after leading Colorado to a 47-20-2-3 record during the 2016-17 and a 48-18-4-2 mark during the 2017-18 campaign. He would also guide Colorado to a stellar record of 32-10-2 in the postseason. Schneekloth previously spent three seasons as the Eagles assistant coach under current Eagles president and general manager Chris Stewart.
Prior to moving behind the bench, Schneekloth enjoyed a highly-decorated professional career that spanned 11 years and saw him spend seven seasons in an Eagles sweater, including a championship season in 2007. Schneekloth retired in 2013 as the Eagles all-time leader in points (356), goals (111) and assists (245) by a defenseman. He also left having etched his name into the Eagles record book ranked 5th overall in points, 2nd in games played (382) and 6th in goals. A four-time All-Star and a member of both the CHL’s All-Decade Team and the Colorado Eagles All-Decade Team, Schneekloth was also named to the ALL-ECHL Team in 2012 and was voted to the ALL-CHL Team on three separate occasions. He was named the CHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman in both 2009 and 2010, while also earning the honor of being the ECHL’s Defenseman of the Year in 2012. He also owns a NCAA championship as a member of the University of North Dakota team which captured the NCAA title in 2000.
Williamson was a member of the Eagles inaugural team which took to the ice in 2003 and spent five seasons in an Eagles sweater. During his time in Colorado, Williamson posted 47 goals and 204 assists in 305 regular season contests, generating a combined plus/minus rating of +125 during that time. His 251 points are good for eighth, all-time in Colorado Eagles history and place him second among all Eagles defensemen. He helped lead the Eagles to CHL President’s Cup Championships in both 2005 and 2007 and was named the CHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman for the 2006-07 season. Williamson also appeared in three CHL All-Star Games in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Williamson spent four stellar seasons at the University of North Dakota where he helped capture an NCAA Championship in 1997. He would also be named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and earn a spot as a First Team All-American following the 1998-99 campaign.
Single-game tickets for the 2018-19 season are on-sale now and start at just $18 per seat. Purchase your seats today by visiting the Budweiser Events Center box office, online at ColoradoEagles.com or by calling the Eagles ticketing department at 970-686-SHOT (7468).