Sommer announces retirement

Roy Sommer, the winningest head coach in American Hockey League history, has announced his retirement.

Sommer’s storied 25-year run will conclude this evening when his San Diego Gulls visit the Colorado Eagles in their 2022-23 season finale. It will be Sommer’s 1,814th game running an AHL bench.

Sommer, 66, spent 24 seasons as head coach of the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliates in Kentucky (1998-2001), Cleveland (2001-06), Worcester (2006-15) and San Jose (2015-22). He joined the Anaheim Ducks as San Diego’s head coach on July 12, 2022.

Sommer has won 828 AHL games, surpassing Hockey Hall of Famer Fred “Bun” Cook with his 637th victory on Feb. 10, 2016. He overtook another Hall of Famer, Frank Mathers, in games on Mar. 26, 2014, when he coached his 1,257th contest.

A native of Oakland, Calif., Sommer earned the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach in 2016-17. His teams won four division titles, and he coached in three AHL All-Star Classics (2000, 2015, 2019).

Prior to being named the Sharks’ AHL head coach, Sommer spent the 1997-98 season as an NHL assistant coach under Darryl Sutter in San Jose. He also spent part of the 2019-20 season as an associate coach of the Sharks.

Sommer played 10 seasons of professional hockey after being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977, scoring a goal in his NHL debut with Edmonton in 1981 and winning a Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984.