The Fayetteville FireAntz are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S. They currently play in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). They play their home games in the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum.
The team, originally known as the Cape Fear Fireantz, began play in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League in the 2002–2003 season. After the league's collapse they joined the South East Hockey League for the 2003–2004 season, and joined what would become the SPHL in 2005. Since their inception, they won the 2007 SPHL championship and have made numerous playoff appearances, including another trip to the finals, which they lost.
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. After two seasons behind the bench, coach Derek Booth left in 2006 to coach the Bloomington Prairie Thunder of the United Hockey League.
In the 2006–2007 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 final series were won by Fayetteville on the FireAntz' home ice, before the series returned to Jacksonville, Florida, where the Jacksonville Barracudas won Game 3 of the series by a 3-2 score. On April 18, 2007 the FireAntz won the fourth game of the series by a score of 5-3 to win the SPHL President's Cup. It was the first championship for the FireAntz, and Fayetteville's first professional sports championship in 51 years. John Marks resigned after the team's championship run to take the head coach position with the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the East Coast Hockey League. 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 2010-2011 season and was soon replaced by Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees' assistant coach, Sean Gillam. He would only last partway through the season; on Feb 17, 2012, the FireAntz replaced him with Todd Bidner.
Mark DeSantis was named the Head Coach for the 2012-13 season and led the FireAntz to a regular season championship, winning the Bill Coffey Memorial Trophy, given to that season's regular season champion. He left the team to coach the Central Hockey League's expansion franchise, the Brampton Beast, also returning to his home town.
The FireAntz named Greg McCauley head coach for the 2013-14 season. Forced to return to his hometown during the season, due to health concerns of his mother, McCauley resigned on January 28, 2014.
Assistant Coach Sean Edwards took the reins as interim coach before the club hired former FireAntz player, Emery Olauson, as the Head Coach on February 4, 2014. Olauson has been re-signed for the 2014-15 season.