Alaska Aces Head Coach Brent Thompson was named the 2010-2011 recipient of the John Brophy Award as the ECHL Coach of the Year, the league and the Aces announced on Tuesday.
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.
Thompson and the Aces begin their 2011 Kelly Cup Post-Season on Friday, April 15th in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals at Sullivan Arena.
Thompson, in his second season as the Aces Head Coach, led Alaska to a 47-22-3 record as the Aces won the Mountain Division, Western Conference, and the club's second-ever Brabham Cup as ECHL regular-season champions. Alaska went 23-4-1 over the final 27 games of the season and has earned a bye in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The 97 points recorded by the Aces this season were their most since 2006-2007. This season Thompson completely revamped the Aces roster, bringing back only three players from last season, assembling the youngest team in the ECHL, and forming the team with the most ECHL contracted players.
In his head coaching career, Thompson is 83-50-11. The former defenseman was an assistant coach for the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League from 2005-09 and was a player/assistant coach for Colorado of the Central Hockey League in 2003-04.
Thompson played 14 seasons in the NHL, AHL, IHL and CHL from 1991-2005. Selected in the second round (39th overall) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Thompson played six seasons in the NHL from 1991-97 and had 11 points (1g-10a) and 352 penalty minutes in 121 regular-season games with Los Angeles, Winnipeg and Phoenix. He was selected to play in the IHL All-Star Game as a rookie in 1991-92 and received the AHL's Yanick Dupre Memorial Award in 1998-99 for outstanding contribution to community and charity.
Thompson is the second Aces Head Coach to win the award, joining current St. Louis Blues Coach, Davis Payne who won the award in 2007. 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.