The Worcester Sharks’ Roy Sommer has reached another impressive milestone in his coaching career.
With the Sharks’ 3-2 shootout win over Hershey at Giant Center on Saturday night, Sommer become just the fourth head coach in American Hockey League history to reach 500 wins for his career.
Currently in his 14th AHL season — all as head coach of the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliates — Sommer currently owns a career record of 500-496-90. He joins AHL Hall of Famers Fred “Bun” Cook (636-413-122), Frank Mathers (610-512-134) and John Paddock (589-438-98) as the only four head coaches in AHL history to achieve 500 wins.
Sommer, who also ranks fourth all-time in games coached (1,082), first assumed his post as the Sharks’ top development coach in 1998. In his 13-1/2 seasons with Kentucky (1998-2001), Cleveland (2001-06) and Worcester (2006- ), Sommer has coached more than 80 players who have spent time in the National Hockey League, including Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi, Doug Murray, Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture, Dan Boyle, Miikka Kiprusoff, Brad Boyes, Christian Ehrhoff, Johan Hedberg and Mikael Samuelsson.
Sommer’s first career win came on Oct. 17, 1998, a 6-4 decision over the Albany River Rats. David Cunniff, who played for Albany that night, has served as Sommer’s assistant coach since 2002.
The 54-year-old Sommer, a native of Oakland, Calif., was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977 and played two seasons in the AHL, with the Maine Mariners from 1983-85. He was a member of the Mariners’ 1984 Calder Cup championship team.