Meet The New Bench Boss

Anaheim Ducks Name Roy Sommer San Diego Gulls Head Coach

Jul 12, 2022

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Roy Sommer head coach of the San Diego Gulls, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). With the announcement, Sommer becomes the fourth head coach in Gulls AHL history.

"Roy brings invaluable experience behind the bench as the winningest coach in the history of the AHL," said Ducks Assistant General Manager and Gulls General Manager Rob DiMaio. "His strong track record of developing players ready to play in the NHL will help us continue a winning culture in San Diego for the league’s top fans."

Sommer, 65, is the AHL’s all-time leader in wins (808) and games coached (1,736) after spending the last 26 consecutive seasons as a coach in the San Jose Sharks organization. Sommer collected an 808-721-107 record with San Jose’s primary affiliates in Kentucky (1998-01), Cleveland (2001-06), Worcester (2006-15) and San Jose (2015-22). He helped guide the Barracuda to five Calder Cup Playoff appearances in seven seasons following the AHL Pacific Division’s creation in 2015.

Throughout his coaching career, Sommer has helped develop more than 150 players from the AHL to the NHL, including Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Dan Boyle, Mikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov and Jonathan Cheechoo.

Sommer was named the AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17 (A.R. Pieri Memorial Award) after leading the Barracuda to a 43-16-9 record and an appearance in the Western Conference Final. As a head coach in the ECHL, Sommer compiled a 176-124-34 record in five seasons. He led the Richmond Renegades of the ECHL to a Kelly Cup Championship in 1995 and was named the ECHL Coach of the Year (John Brophy Award) in 1995-96 after leading the club to the top record (46-11-13) and a league record 105 points. 

Sommer served as associate coach for the Sharks for part of the 2019-20 NHL season, before rejoining the Barracuda as head coach prior to 2020-21. He also was an assistant coach with the Sharks from 1996-98. 

A native of Oakland, Calif., Sommer was selected by Toronto in the sixth round (101st overall) of the 1977 NHL Draft. He appeared in 741 professional games in the NHL, AHL, International Hockey League, Central Hockey League and West Coast Hockey League. He scored a goal in his NHL debut with Edmonton as a teammate of Wayne Gretzky in 1981. Sommer won a Calder Cup championship with the Maine Mariners in 1984 and helped lead Muskegon to an IHL Turner Cup championship in 1985-86. He also represented Team USA at the World Junior Championships in 1976-77.

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