Sommer sets career wins record with No. 637

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Roy Sommer of the San Jose Barracuda earned his 637th regular-season win as a head coach in the American Hockey League on Wednesday night, becoming the winningest coach in the 80-year history of the circuit. 

Sommer’s Barracuda defeated the Ontario Reign, 4-2, at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. 

With win No. 637, Sommer has surpassed Fred “Bun” Cook, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and AHL Hall of Fame who won 636 games during his 19 seasons leading the Providence Reds and Cleveland Barons from 1937 to 1956. 

Cook had spent more than 72 years at the top of the leaderboard, since moving alone into first place with his 153rd win on Nov. 13, 1943. 

Sommer, 58, is in his 18th season in the AHL, a tenure spent entirely in the San Jose Sharks organization. The Oakland, Calif., native was named to the position on May 28, 1998, and has guided the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06), Worcester Sharks (2006-15) and Barracuda (2015- ) over 1,388 games – also a league record.

In the AHL, Sommer has coached 120 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, a list that includes Logan CoutureJoe PavelskiDan BoyleChristian EhrhoffBrad BoyesJosh GorgesSteve BernierTorrey MitchellThomas GreissJason DemersAndrew DesjardinsJamie McGinnAlex StalockJustin BraunTommy WingelsMiikka KiprusoffEvgeni NabokovJonathan CheechooRyane Clowe and Douglas Murray

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. 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. 

Career AHL head coaching wins: 
1. x-Roy Sommer, 637
2. Bun Cook, 636 
3. Frank Mathers, 610 
4. John Paddock, 589 
5. x-John Anderson, 413 
6. x-Randy Cunneyworth, 373 
7. x-Mark Morris, 363 
8. Terry Reardon, 362 
9. Robbie Ftorek, 353 
10. x-Ken Gernander, 347