DULUTH, Ga. – The Gwinnett Gladiators announced that Steve Chapman, the team’s President and General Manager, has accepted the position of Group Vice President with the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. Chapman has served for 12 seasons with the Gladiators, overseeing the organization’s business and hockey operations.
In addition to his tenure with the Gladiators, Chapman has also served for the past nine seasons as Chairman of the Board of the ECHL. During that time, the League has experienced unprecedented growth and now has 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province. He is a two-time winner of the league’s Executive of the Year Award.
"First of all, I want to offer my sincere gratitude to Steve and his family – Cindy, Alex & Connor – for their loyalty, support and love. And, I want to thank Chappy for his devotion to this organization." said Gladiators Majority Owner Toby Jeffreys. "This opportunity in the NHL is well deserved and long overdue. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with him, through more good times than bad. Steve exposed me to this wonderful game and it was his passion that fueled my ownership interest in professional hockey. He has never taken our organization, our fans, our sponsors or our community support for granted. He has led by example and worked for us all. He earned my trust, he earned our trust and he has served us well. The Gladiators organization is in good hands because of the organization that he has helped to create. We will continue to move forward and we wish the Chapman family nothing but the best in St. Louis."
During Chapman’s tenure, the Gladiators have consistently ranked amongst the league leaders in fan attendance and support. Through the incorporation of innovative marketing and entertainment concepts as well as a dedicated approach to community involvement, Chapman and his team have successfully entrenched the Glads’ organization as an integral part of the North Metro Atlanta area sports scene.
The Gladiators have also enjoyed a large measure of success on the ice over the past 12 seasons, winning three division championships, one conference championship and also appearing in the 2006 Kelly Cup Finals. In addition, a total of 17 former Gladiator players have advanced to appear on the roster of a National Hockey League team and two former coaches have advanced to coach in the American Hockey League.
"It is truly an honor to join the ranks of the storied St. Louis Blues organization," said Chapman. "It has been a 23-year journey to achieve one of my professional goals and I am excited to begin the work of helping to build upon the success that they have already attained and playing my part in bringing world class entertainment to the city."
"I am particularly thankful to Toby Jeffreys for the opportunity to work with him to build the Gladiators over the last twelve seasons," continued Chapman. "I am indebted to him, our corporate partners and our fans for their support. Equally important, I want to thank the various staff that has served the team over the years and all of the people that work hard every day to make the Gladiators organization what it is. While I am leaving the duties of the day-to-day operation of the team, I remain a part of the Gladiator family and I look forward to seeing the team continue its success. I can also promise that I have not at all lost my desire to raise the Kelly Cup in North Metro Atlanta. I am leaving the organization in the hands of excellent and capable people."