PRINCETON, N.J. – Providence of the American Hockey League on Friday named former ECHL player and head coach Scott Gordon as head coach.
Gordon, who had served as the team’s assistant coach for the last three years, succeeds Mike Sullivan, who was named head coach of the Boston Bruins on June 23. Gordon played for Johnstown in 1988-89 and on January 30, 1990 he became the first ECHL player to play in the National Hockey League when he made his debut with the Quebec Nordiques against the Buffalo Sabres. Gordon returned to the ECHL with Nashville in 1992-93 and Knoxville in 1993-94.
Following three years as an assistant coach and head coach in the International Hockey League, Gordon was named head coach of Roanoke in 1998-99, leading the Express to a 38-22-10 record, finishing atop the Northern Conference standings, and a berth in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, where it lost in the Northern Conference Finals. In Gordon’s second season behind the bench in 1999-2000, Roanoke went 44-20-6 and set team records for wins (44) and points (94) while finishing atop the Northeast Division standings and again advancing to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Gordon has been an assistant coach with Providence since 2000-01, and in 2002-03 he was promoted to head coach when Providence head coach Mike Sullivan was named an assistant coach for Boston in the NHL. During his head coaching stint, Gordon went 3-3-2-1 in the regular season and coached Providence’s first playoff game before returning control to Sullivan, who returned to Providence upon Boston’s elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In addition to Gordon, there are six former ECHL head coaches that are head coaches in the AHL. Claude Noel, who was named ECHL Coach of the Year after leading Toledo to the Brabham Cup in 2002-03, was named head coach of Milwaukee in June. Doug Shedden, who coached Louisiana from 1995-99, was named head coach of St. John’s in June, and Geoff Ward, who coached Arkansas in 1999, was named head coach of Toronto on July 15. Roy Sommer, who coached Roanoke Valley and Richmond in the ECHL, is the head coach with Cleveland, his fifth season as the head coach of San Jose’s top affiliate. Bruce Boudreau, who led Mississippi to the 1999 Kelly Cup Championship, has been the head coach of Manchester for the past two seasons while Don Granato, who coached Columbus (Ohio) and Peoria, has been the head coach of Worcester for the past three years. Granato was named AHL Coach of the Year following his rookie season in 2000-01, one year after he led Peoria to the Kelly Cup Championship.