Florida’s Ralph receives John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year

The ECHL on Tuesday announced that Brad Ralph of the Florida Everblades is the 2017-18 recipient of the John Brophy Award as the league’s Coach of the Year.

The John Brophy Award is the trophy presented annually to the ECHL coach selected to have contributed the most to his team’s success as selected in a vote of league coaches. The trophy is named for John Brophy, who won a record three ECHL titles with Hampton Roads in 1991, 1992 and 1998, and was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.

Aaron Schneekloth of Colorado finished second in the voting, followed by Manchester’s Richard Seeley, Ryan Warsofsky of South Carolina and Toledo’s Dan Watson.

The winner of the Defenseman of the Year award will be announced on Wednesday.

Ralph led the Everblades to a 53-13-6 record, their third South Division title in the last four seasons and the club’s third Brabham Cup in team history. The Everblades’ 112 points set a new club record while the 53 wins tied the most in team history, which was originally set in the 1999-2000 season. Florida went 26-7-3 on the road, tying the record for the most road wins in a single season in the ECHL’s 30-year history. Ralph also earned the right to coach in the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic for the second consecutive season.

In two seasons as Everblades’ head coach, Ralph is 99-34-11 and he is 231-98-31 in five ECHL seasons with Florida and Idaho. He went 48-20-4 in one season as head coach of Kelowna in the Western Hockey League in 2015-16, and also has previous coaching experience with Augusta of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

John Brophy Award Winners (ECHL Coach of the Year)

2017-18           Brad Ralph, Florida Everblades

2016-17           Dan Watson, Toledo Walleye

2015-16           Richard Matvichuk, Missouri Mavericks

2014-15           Derek Lalonde, Toledo Walleye

2013-14           Spencer Carbery, South Carolina Stingrays

2012-13           Jarrod Skalde, Cincinnati Cyclones

2011-12           Rob Murray, Alaska Aces and John Wroblewski, Gwinnett Gladiators

2010-11           Brent Thompson, Alaska Aces

2009-10           Derek Laxdal, Idaho Steelheads

2008-09           Rick Kowalsky, Trenton Devils

2007-08           Chuck Weber, Cincinnati Cyclones

2006-07           Davis Payne, Alaska Aces

2005-06           Glen Gulutzan, Las Vegas Wranglers

2004-05           Nick Vitucci, Toledo Storm

2003-04           Pat Bingham, Wheeling Nailers

2002-03           Claude Noel, Toledo Storm

2001-02           Dave Farrish, Louisiana Ice Gators

2000-01           Troy Ward, Trenton Titans

1999-00           Bob Ferguson, Florida Everblades

1998-99           Bob Ferguson, Florida Everblades

1997-98           Chris Nilan, Chesapeake IceBreakers

1996-97           Brian McCutcheon, Columbus Chill

1995-96           Roy Sommer, Richmond Renegades

1994-95           Jim Playfair, Dayton Bombers

1993-94           Barry Smith, Knoxville Cherokees

1992-93           Kurt Kleinendorst, Raleigh IceCaps

1991-92           Doug Sauter, Winston-Salem Thunderbirds

1990-91           Don Jackson, Knoxville Cherokees

1989-90           Dave Allison, Virginia Lancers

1988-89           Ron Hansis, Erie Panthers