Behind the ECHL Benches – Kevin McClelland

Kevin McClelland, born July 4, 1962, enters his 11th season as a professional head coach and sixth year in Wichita. During his tenure, McClelland led the Thunder to back-to-back CHL Finals appearances in 2012 and 2013. He took over a nine-win team in 2009-10 and turned things around quickly, winning 34 games in 2010-11. The following season (2011-12), McClelland took the team to a 44-19-3 record and clinched the Bud Poile Governors’ Cup as the league’s regular season point’s champion. He was named the CHL Coach of the Year for the second time in his coaching career that same season. His first came back in 2007 when he won the award as the head coach of the Memphis RiverKings.

A native of Oshawa, Ontario, McClelland won Stanley Cup titles with Edmonton in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988. A fourth-round selection of the Hartford Whalers in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, McClelland also spent time in the NHL with the Penguins, Red Wings, Maple Leafs and Jets. McClelland spent seven years in Edmonton, eclipsing 200 penalty minutes in four straight seasons from 1984-88.

When his playing career ended in 1995, McClelland served as an assistant coach for the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts during the 1997-98 season. The following year, McClelland took over as head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders, compiling a 71-55-11 record over two seasons.

McClelland returned to the professional ranks in 2000, this time as an assistant coach for the American Hockey League’s St. John’s Maple Leafs. After five years in St. John’s, McClelland was named head coach of the Memphis RiverKings in 2005. McClelland moved on to spend two seasons as head coach of the Colorado Eagle from 2008-10.

With McClelland at the helm, the Thunder have compiled a 176-125-35 record in 336 regular-season games. McClelland now resides in Wichita with his wife Wendy and their three sons, Jack, and twins Max and Matt.

Coaching Record

Reg. Season



Prince Albert (WHL)


1999-00Prince Albert (WHL) 7226336 624
2005-06Memphis (CHL) 6422375 
2006-07Memphis (CHL) 6439196 1899
2007-08Memphis (CHL) 6439214 312
2008-09Colorado (CHL) 6445154 1596
2009-10Colorado (CHL) 6442154 404
2010-11Wichita (CHL) 6634266 523
2011-12Wichita (CHL) 6634266 1697
2012-13Wichita (CHL) 6639198 15114
2013-14Wichita (CHL) 6627309 
2014-15Wichita Thunder (ECHL)


ECHL Totals