The Atlanta Gladiators have announced that Jeff Pyle has been named head coach and general manager of hockey operations.
Pyle, 59, returns to the Gladiators organization after spending the last six seasons in various leagues, including a one-year stint as the head coach of the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. The Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri native spent 13 seasons with the Mobile/Gwinnett organization, accumulating 436 wins. His 477 overall victories in the ECHL with Mobile, Gwinnett and Evansville rank him as fourth all-time winningest coach in the league’s 30-year history.
The returning Gladiator’s bench boss replaces Chuck Weber, who recently left the Gladiators upon accepting a position as assistant coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In his only season in Atlanta, Weber returned the Gladiators to the playoffs for the first time in five years. The Gladiators are going back to their beginnings with Pyle’s return. His proven leadership as a man who knows how to develop players bodes well for the Gladiators returning to their winning roots.
Pyle’s best season with the Gladiators was in 2005-06, when he led the team to a club-record 107 points and a record of 50-15-7. The Gladiators went on to win the American Conference championship en route to their first, and only, Kelly Cup Finals appearance, eventually losing to the top seeded Alaska Aces in five games.
Most recently, Pyle spent two seasons with the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Evansville Thunderbolts. Pyle led the Thunderbolts to their first-ever playoffs appearance in 2018. The 17-year head coach spent one season with the Evansville IceMen of the ECHL in 2013-14, after his one season stop with the Dallas Stars’ AHL affiliate in Austin, Texas. Pyle started his coaching career in 1998-99 with the Mobile Mysticks, and spent four seasons in southern Alabama before relocating with the team to Duluth, GA as they became the Gwinnett Gladiators in 2002.
|Coaching Record||Reg. Season||Playoffs|
|1998-99||Mobile Mysticks (ECHL)||70||31||31||8||2||0||2|
|1999-00||Mobile Mysticks (ECHL)||70||40||28||2||5||2||3|
|2000-01||Mobile Mysticks (ECHL)||72||38||28||6||10||5||5|
|2001-02||Mobile Mysticks (ECHL)||72||28||26||18||—||—||—|
|2003-04||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||42||22||8||13||7||6|
|2004-05||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||40||24||8||8||4||4|
|2005-06||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||50||15||7||17||11||6|
|2006-07||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||41||24||7||4||1||3|
|2007-08||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||44||23||5||8||5||3|
|2008-09||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||31||35||6||5||1||4|
|2009-10||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||31||33||8||—||—||—|
|2010-11||Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)||72||30||34||8||—||—||—|
|2013-14||Evansville IceMen (ECHL)||72||31||30||11||—||—||—|