TULSA, OK—The Bruce Ramsay era for the Tulsa Oilers is now over.
The six-year coach of the Tulsa Oilers hockey club is leaving to join friend and former teammate (and former Oklahoma City Barons head coach) Todd Nelson in Grand Rapids, Michigan to serve as the assistant coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
Nelson will serve as the Griffins head coach.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me and my family and I want to thank Todd Nelson and the entire Griffins organization for believing in my abilities,” said Ramsay. “Although I am excited for the next step in my career, it is very difficult to leave Tulsa. I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish in six years and the Oilers’ front office staff, players, and certainly the fans, will always hold a special place for me and my family. We are so grateful for their support and their friendship.”
In six seasons as the Oilers mentor he coached the team to three playoff appearances, and amassed a record of 185-178-35. He is the second winningest coach in post-1992 Tulsa Oilers franchise history to Garry Unger.
In 2011, Ramsay coached the Oilers to their first playoff series victory in 17 years. He led the 2013-14 Oilers to a 12-win improvement over the previous season and in 2014-15, Tulsa’s first season in the ECHL, Ramsay’s squad posted 37 victories, the second-highest win total in franchise history.
It’s the second time Todd Nelson and Bruce Ramsay have paired together as a coaching duo.
Nelson became the Muskegon Head Coach in 2003 and Ramsay served as his assistant from 2004 to 2006. The duo guided the Fury to a Colonial Cup (UHL) title in 2005.
“We are thrilled for Bruce to have a chance to continue his career in the AHL,” said Oilers’ General Manager, Taylor Hall. “He has worked tirelessly over the last six years to put our team in a position to win and we are so thankful for all of his outstanding efforts. Because of Bruce’s drive and commitment, our franchise is in a great position moving forward. He was a tremendous ambassador for our team and for the sport of hockey and he is very deserving of this new opportunity in Grand Rapids. Bruce and his family will be sorely missed.”
Hall indicated that the search for the ninth head coach in post-1992 franchise history is currently in progress.
The Oilers will begin their second season in the ECHL, and their 24th consecutive season as a franchise in mid-October.