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Behind the ECHL Benches – Rich Kromm


Rich Kromm was named head coach/director of hockey operations for Stockton on July 15, 2013. In his first season in Stockton, Kromm’s Thunder posted a 33-31-8 record and made the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Kromm’s team swept the second-seeded Ontario Reign but would fall to the sixth-seeded Bakersfield Condors in the Western Conference Semifinals.

The native of Trail, British Columbia came to the Thunder by way of the Evansville IceMen, the team he coached from 2010-13, serving in a key role with their transition to the ECHL from the Central Hockey League in 2012-13. Kromm’s resume includes four seasons as head coach of Muskegon in the United Hockey League and International Hockey League, where he was UHL Coach of the Year in 1998-99 while guiding the Fury to a Colonial Cup championship and the league’s Tarry Cup for the top regular season record at 50-18-6. He left the organization as their all-time winningest coach (modern history) with a record of 181-92-25 in 298 games. He also guided Muskegon to the UHL Semifinals in 1999-00 and IHL’s top regular season record at 51-20-5 in 2009-10.

He was an assistant coach for the Chicago Wolves in 1997-98, helping steer the club to the IHL’s Turner Cup championship with the league’s best record at 55-24-3. He also assisted the Florida Panthers’ scouting efforts during the 1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs, following two seasons in the American Hockey League as head coach of the Carolina Monarchs from 1995-97.

Kromm began his coaching career in the IHL with the Cincinnati Cyclones, serving in assistant and interim head coaching roles from 1993-95 when he helped orchestrate back to back 49-win seasons and a combined regular season mark of 98-45-19. His four seasons of junior experience include time behind the bench with the Calgary Hitmen and Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.

As an NHL left wing, Kromm skated in parts of nine seasons with the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders, totaling 173 points (70g-103a) in 372 career games. He dressed in 36 career Stanley Cup Playoff games and collected eight points (2g-6a). He was selected in the second round (37th overall) by Calgary in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.


Coaching Record Reg. Season Playoffs
Season Team Gms W L T Gms W L
1993-94 Cincinnati (IHL) 2 2 0 0
1995-96 Carolina (AHL) 80 28 38 11
1996-97 Carolina (AHL) 80 28 43 4
1998-99 Muskegon (UHL) 74 50 18 6 18 12 6
1999-00 Muskegon (UHL) 74 43 26 5 13 7 6
2000-01 Muskegon (UHL) 74 37 28 9 6 2 4
2002-03 Calgary (WHL) 72 27 36 7 5 1 4
2003-04 Calgary (WHL) 72 34 24 8 7 3 4
2007-08 Portland (WHL) 72 11 58 3
2008-09 Portland (WHL)
14 2 12 0
2009-10 Muskegon (IHL)
  76 51 20 5   7 3 4
2010-11 Evansville (CHL)
  66 21 32 13  
2011-12 Evansville (CHL)   66 40 22 4   4 0 4
2012-13 Evansville IceMen (ECHL)   72 25 40 7  
2013-14 Stockton Thunder (ECHL)   72 33 31 8   10 5 5
  ECHL Totals
  144 58 71 15   10 5 5