Ontario head coach Jason Christie will make history on Wednesday when the Reign visit the Stockton Thunder as he will become just the fourth coach in the ECHL’s 27-year history to coach in at least 800 regular-season games.
Christie is in his 12th season as an ECHL coach following stints in Peoria and Utah. He made his coaching debut during the 2000-01 season with the Rivermen, just one season removed from serving as the captain on Peoria’s 2000 Kelly Cup championship team. In five seasons with the Rivermen, Christie led the team to 40 or more wins four times, and led the team to four trips to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
After Peoria moved to the American Hockey League for the 2005-06 season, Christie spent the next three seasons with Utah, leading the Grizzlies to two trips to the postseason, including their only visit to the Conference Finals in 2008.
He then spent time as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League and one season as head coach for Bloomington of the Central Hockey League before joining the Reign in 2011-12. Ontario has won at least 43 games in each of Christie’s first three seasons with the club, and the team has won the Pacific Division title in all three seasons.
John Marks, a 2012 inductee into the ECHL Hall of Fame, is the League’s all-time leader with 1,008 games coached, followed by Jeff Pyle with 932 and 2009 ECHL Hall of Fame inductee John Brophy with 882.
Christie’s 444 career wins also rank fourth all-time, trailing Marks (491), Brophy (480) and Pyle (477).