WICHITA, Kan. The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, AHL's Bakersfield Condors and powered by Toyota, are excited to announce the hiring of Bruce Ramsay as the 14th Head Coach in franchise history.
"I would like to thank the Steven Brothers and Joel Lomurno for this opportunity to return to the Thunder," commented Ramsay. "I believe the great ownership, tremendous fan support and exceptional facility that Wichita offers has made it a premier place to play professional hockey. I'm looking forward to many successful seasons on and off the ice for years to come."
Ramsay, 50, was introduced at a press conference earlier this afternoon. He returns to the ECHL after spending three seasons as an assistant with the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins. Before that, he was the bench boss of the Tulsa Oilers from 2009-15, where he compiled a 185-180-35 record in 400 regular season games. Ramsay led the Oilers to the playoffs in each of his last two seasons in Tulsa - which coincided with Oilers' final season in the CHL and their first season in the ECHL.
"I'm very excited to have Bruce back in Wichita," stated Thunder General Manager Joel Lomurno. "I have kept in touch with Bruce over the years and he is someone I have always liked and respected. Bruce is very passionate, has a wealth of championship experience and will no doubt work very hard through his many connections to put a solid team on the ice. More importantly, I think he will be a well-respected ambassador for the city of Wichita."
A native of Dryden, Ontario, Ramsay returns to a place that he called home during his playing career. He played for the Thunder during the 2000-01 season, recording 35 points (11g, 24a) and racked up 364 penalty minutes. Over his 12-year playing career, he was a part of eight championship teams, winning four Colonial Cups and two Royal Bank Cups. He finished with 245 points (74g, 171a) and amassed 3,432 penalty minutes in 677 games as a pro.
After his playing career ended in 2005, he was named the Head Coach of the ACHL's St. Pete/Winston-Salem Patriots. His head coaching career spans 11 seasons, including stints with the Beacons (2002-04), Muskegon Fury (2004-08), International Hockey League's Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Oilers. Ramsay has consistently led his teams to the postseason, making the playoffs eight out of 11 years.
In 2015, Ramsay stepped down from the Oilers to pursue an assistant coaching position with Grand Rapids and helped lead them to the 2017 Calder Cup Title.