Capitals sign Bears coach Carbery to extension

The Washington Capitals announced today that Hershey Bears head coach Spencer Carbery has signed a multi-year contract extension.

Additionally, the Bears assistant coach Patrick Wellar and associate goaltending coach Alex Westlund have signed multi-year contract extensions.

“Spencer has built a culture of success, and his drive, passion, and ability to get the best out of his players have made him the perfect fit for our organization,” said Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer. “We look forward to Spencer, along with Patrick Wellar, Alex Westlund, and the rest of the coaching staff, leading our storied franchise to further success in the coming years.”

Carbery, 39, is in his third season as head coach of the Bears. He was named the 26th head coach in franchise history on June 26, 2018, and at the time of his hire, he was the second-youngest coach in the American Hockey League. In his tenure with the Bears, Carbery has guided Hershey to an impressive 96-48-9-8 record over 161 games, good for a .649 points percentage.

Carbery, a Victoria, B.C., native, has led Hershey to a 16-5-2-0 record so far this season, good for the top spot in the AHL’s North Division. Under Carbery’s watch, the 2019-20 Bears were the third-best team in the AHL with a 37-18-3-4 record through 62 games, tying for a league-high 21 home wins.

In Carbery’s first season in Hershey in 2018-19, he guided the Bears to a record of 43-25-4-4. That year, Hershey broke a franchise record by earning standings points in 17 consecutive regular-season games. The historic streak lifted Hershey from last place in the AHL in December to an April playoff berth, where the Bears beat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the opening round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Carbery’s ties to the organization date back to his tenure as the head coach and director of hockey operations for Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, from 2011-2016. He was the winner of the John Brophy Award as the ECHL’s Coach of the Year in 2014, and was the runner-up for the award in 2015 and 2016.

Wellar and Westlund will continue to round out Carbery’s staff, along with assistant coach Scott Allen, video coach Emily Engel-Natzke, and strength and conditioning coach Mike Wagner, who are already under contract for the upcoming 2021-22 season.