WEST VALLEY CITY — Utah Grizzlies head coach and Director of Hockey Operations Kevin Colley announced Thursday that defenseman Jeff Dwyer has announced his retirement and been named the team's assistant coach.

Dwyer, 27, played 56 games for Utah last year while serving as an assistant captain. He also appeared in all 15 playoff games as the team advanced to the conference finals. In addition, he earned three call-ups to Bridgeport as well in 2007-08.

"It was a tough decision to retire, but I am excited to go behind the bench," said Dwyer. "I look forward to helping our players achieve their dreams and goals of advancing to the AHL and NHL. Kevin and I are both young motivated guys and we look forward to winning a lot of games in Utah."

The Connecticut native is a 2004 graduate of Yale University where he played four years of college hockey. He was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2001. Dwyer was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2000 entry draft (round 6, 178th overall) and advanced to the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals playing for Gwinnett in the ECHL.

"Jeff was a great leader on last year's team," said Colley. "He has a strong understanding of the game of hockey and his business savvy and organizational skills will be a great benefit to us."

"We are once again excited to stay within our Grizzlies family with a very capable candidate," said Grizzlies CEO Kevin Bruder.