TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Oilers entered a new era of leadership on Thursday with the announcement of Jason Christie as their new head coach.
Christie, 46, becomes the 11th head coach in Oilers’ history after spending the past four seasons as the head coach of the Ontario Reign. In each of his four seasons behind the Reign bench, Christie recorded 43 or more wins and qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. He led Ontario to three consecutive Pacific Division titles and last season, Christie guided the Reign to a 43-19-10 regular season record and a berth in the Western Conference Finals.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity to coach in a place that has a hockey tradition like Tulsa,” Christie commented. “It feels great to be back in the middle of the country and to be part of an organization that is so well supported by the ownership and the fans. I’m looking forward to getting started on putting a great team on the ice.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Jason and his family to Tulsa and we’re extremely excited to bring in one of the most successful coaches in all of minor pro hockey,” stated Taylor Hall, Oilers’ General Manager. “Jason’s track record in our league is difficult to match. He has proven that he knows what it takes to succeed at this level and I’m confident that he will get the very most out of our players to help this organization achieve a new level of success. Our fans are going to be extremely proud of the team Jason puts on the ice and his commitment to winning.”
A native of Gibbons, Alberta, Christie has been a head coach for 13 seasons in the ECHL and Central Hockey League. He boasts a career coaching record of 520-304-105 (.616 winning percentage) and has led his teams to a total of 11 postseason appearances. With 483 victories in the ECHL, Christie ranks second on the league’s all-time coaching wins list and needs just nine wins to break the record held by John Marks.
“I’ve had success in the past because of the players and management around be being on the same page and striving for the same things,” said Christie. “I want to make sure our team in Tulsa has consistent effort every single game. Our fans need to see a hard-working team on the ice and players who are family oriented and willing to step out of their comfort zone to make the necessary sacrifices to win.”
Prior to his time in Ontario, Christie earned the Central Hockey League’s Coach of the Year award in the 2010-11 season for pushing the Bloomington Prairie Thunder to 37 wins and the franchise’s first playoff berth. Christie served two seasons as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL after three successful years as the head coach of the Utah Grizzlies. During his Utah tenure, Christie earned two playoff trips in three seasons and in 2007-08, he helped the Grizzlies to the National Conference Finals, the deepest playoff run in team history.
After playing his final season with the Peoria Rivermen of the ECHL in 1999-00, Christie was named the head coach of the Rivermen for the 2000-01 campaign. Christie pushed the Rivermen to four playoff appearances in five years and posted a winning record in each of his five seasons.
Christie played 572 games over a 10-year career with eight teams in the AHL, ECHL, IHL and in England.
He and his wife Kelley have two sons, J.D. and Jaxon.