BAKERSFIELD - San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected his 700th AHL win of his career on Sunday in Bakersfield, 2-1. Sommer is the first coach in the 82-year history of the American Hockey League to reach 700 coaching wins.
In addition, amongst coaches that have spent time in the three active highest levels of professional hockey (NHL/AHL/ECHL), Sommer's coaching longevity compares to some of the most successful hockey coaches in the sport's history. His combined 1,833 professional games coached (ECHL/AHL) places him only behind Scotty Bowman (2,141), and Barry Trotz (1,869) all-time. Bowman coached for an NHL record 30 seasons and stands atop the NHL in games coached. Trotz, the current head coach of the NHL's Washington Capitals, is in his 24th year as a head coach in professional hockey, spending 19 in the NHL and five in the AHL.
In professional hockey, Sommer's combined 876 victories between the ECHL and AHL place him behind only Bowman (1,244), Trotz (914), Joel Quenneville (892), Ken Hitchcock (895), and Mike Keenan (876). Sommer's next victory would make him one of only seven coaches in professional hockey to reach 700 coaching wins between the NHL, AHL and ECHL.
On March 26, 2014, Sommer set the record for the most games coached in the AHL by surpassing Frank Mathers' mark of 1,256, and on Feb. 10, 2016, Sommer surpassed Fred "Bun" Cook (636 wins) to become the all-time leader in AHL wins. Sommer is 700-613-48-72-66 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) all-time during his AHL record 20-year career.
In 2016-17, Sommer was awarded his first A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year after leading the Barracuda to a 43-16-4-5 (.699) record and the franchise's first Western Conference Final appearance.
Sommer's coaching career in the American Hockey League has included stints in Kentucky (1998-01), Cleveland (2001-06), Worcester (2006-15), and San Jose (2015-present).
Prior to joining the Sharks organization as an assistant coach under Head Coach Darryl Sutter from 1996-1998, Sommer spent five seasons and 334 games as a head coach in the East Coast Hockey League with Roanoke and Richmond, including winning an ECHL Championship in 1995 with Richmond.
127 players under Sommer's tutelage in the AHL have gone onto play in the National Hockey League, including current Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Justin Braun, Aaron Dell, Melker Karlsson, Chris Tierney, Tim Heed, Joakim Ryan, Dylan DeMelo, Kevin Labanc, Ryan Carpenter, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, and Danny O'Regan.