WICHITA, Kan. (June 8) – The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, are excited to announce that Head Coach Bruce Ramsay has been chosen as the 2020-21 recipient of the John Brophy Award as the league's Coach of the Year.
The John Brophy Award is the trophy presented annually to the ECHL coach selected to have contributed the most to his team’s success as selected in a vote of ECHL coaches, broadcasters, media relations directors and media members. The trophy is named for John Brophy, who won a record three ECHL titles with Hampton Roads in 1991, 1992 and 1998, and was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ramsay led Wichita to a 41-22-8 record and a second-place finish in the Western Conference during the regular season. It marked Wichita’s first 40-plus win season since 2011-12 in the Central Hockey League. The Thunder went 22-10-4 on the road, which is a new franchise high for road wins in a single season and led the ECHL in road victories.
Ramsay is in his second season as the Thunder’s head coach after spending three seasons as an assistant coach with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Prior to joining the Griffins, he was the head coach of the Tulsa Oilers from 2009-15, where he compiled a 185-180-35 record and led the Oilers to the playoffs in each of his last two seasons in Tulsa - which coincided with Oilers' final season in the Central Hockey League and their first season in the ECHL.
Ramsay becomes the second coach in franchise history to win Coach of the Year. In 2011-12, Kevin McClelland was named as the CHL Coach of the Year.
Andrew Lord of Greenville finished second in the voting, followed by Ford Wayne’s Ben Boudreau, Brad Ralph of Florida and Allen’s Steve Martinson.
In addition to his Coach of the Year honors, Ramsay also was named the ECHL General Manager of the Year award, which is determined by a vote of ECHL coaches. John Brophy Award Winners (ECHL Coach of the Year)2020-21 Bruce Ramsay, Wichita Thunder2019-20 Steve Bergin, South Carolina Stingrays2018-19 Matt Thomas, Cincinnati Cyclones2017-18 Brad Ralph, Florida Everblades2016-17 Dan Watson, Toledo Walleye2015-16 Richard Matvichuk, Missouri Mavericks2014-15 Derek Lalonde, Toledo Walleye2013-14 Spencer Carbery, South Carolina Stingrays2012-13 Jarrod Skalde, Cincinnati Cyclones2011-12 Rob Murray, Alaska Aces John Wroblewski, Gwinnett Gladiators2010-11 Brent Thompson, Alaska Aces2009-10 Derek Laxdal, Idaho Steelheads2008-09 Rick Kowalsky, Trenton Devils2007-08 Chuck Weber, Cincinnati Cyclones2006-07 Davis Payne, Alaska Aces2005-06 Glen Gulutzan, Las Vegas Wranglers2004-05 Nick Vitucci, Toledo Storm2003-04 Pat Bingham, Wheeling Nailers2002-03 Claude Noel, Toledo Storm2001-02 Dave Farrish, Louisiana Ice Gators2000-01 Troy Ward, Trenton Titans1999-00 Bob Ferguson, Florida Everblades1998-99 Bob Ferguson, Florida Everblades1997-98 Chris Nilan, Chesapeake IceBreakers1996-97 Brian McCutcheon, Columbus Chill1995-96 Roy Sommer, Richmond Renegades1994-95 Jim Playfair, Dayton Bombers1993-94 Barry Smith, Knoxville Cherokees1992-93 Kurt Kleinendorst, Raleigh IceCaps1991-92 Doug Sauter, Winston-Salem Thunderbirds1990-91 Don Jackson, Knoxville Cherokees1989-90 Dave Allison, Virginia Lancers1988-89 Ron Hansis, Erie Panthers
ECHL General Manager of the Year Award2020-21 Bruce Ramsay, Wichita Thunder2019-20 Steve Martinson, Allen Americans2018-19 Rob Murray, Tulsa Oilers2017-18 Rob Concannon, South Carolina Stingrays2016-17 Chris Stewart, Colorado Eagles2015-16 Richard Matvichuk, Missouri Mavericks
Wichita opens the playoffs tonight in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Fort Wayne Komets.
The first round games will take place at the Wichita Ice Center and are $20 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Thunder office, by calling (316) 264-4625 or online HERE.
Playoff packages for season ticket holders are available now. Call the Thunder office or click here for playoff FAQ's.
Season tickets for the 2021-22 season are on sale now. October is not far away and the schedule has been announced. Join Thunder Nation today and lock in your seat for all 36 home games at INTRUST Bank Arena. For more information, click HERE.
ECHL TV has a new provider for the 2020-21 season. We are proud to partner with FloHockey, which provides subscribers with plenty of content. Watch live events across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast. To become a subscriber, click here.