The San Jose Barracuda officially announced today that Oakland native Roy Sommer will serve as the head coach for the Barracuda for the 2015-16 season, marking Sommer’s 18th season as head coach of San Jose’s American Hockey League development affiliate.
The team also announced that assistant coach Ryan Mougenel will also return for the 2015-16 season.
Sommer holds the AHL record for most games coached (1,344) and is poised to become the League’s all-time winningest coach (617 wins), trailing only Hockey Hall of Famer Fred "Bun" Cook (636).
"One of the most important things the San Jose Sharks organization does is to develop young players and Roy has been an essential part of that process," said Barracuda general manager Joe Will. "Roy’s career statistics and track record speak for themselves and the Sharks organization will continue to benefit from his efforts working with our prospects and preparing them for the NHL. We are excited that Roy and his staff can bring some continuity to this franchise’s transition to the west coast and build off the successes they had last season."
In addition, Charlie Townsend will return for a third season as the team’s video coach.
Sommer, 58, was named coach of the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate on May 28, 1998, and has spent his entire 17-year AHL coaching career in the Sharks organization with the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06) and Worcester Sharks (2006-15). Sommer has led San Jose’s AHL affiliates to six 40-win seasons and three division championships.
In the AHL, he has coached 116 players who have gone on to play in the NHL, including 92 who have spent a portion of their careers with San Jose. In all, 23 players who dressed for San Jose last season played for Sommer in the AHL at one point in their career.
Prior to be named head coach in the AHL, Sommer spent the 1997-98 season as an assistant coach under Darryl Sutter with the San Jose Sharks. Sommer also led the Bay Area based-San Jose Rhinos of Roller Hockey International for three seasons (1994-96), including capturing the league championship in 1995. Sommer’s coaching experience also includes stops in Richmond (ECHL), Albany/Muskegon (IHL) and working with USA Hockey.
Sommer played 10 seasons of professional hockey after being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977. He scored a goal in his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 28, 1981, and won a Calder Cup championship as a member of the AHL’s Maine Mariners in 1984.