Mike Sullivan has been named head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by associate general manager Jason Botterill.
Sullivan, 47, has 13 years of coaching experience at the National Hockey League (NHL), American Hockey League (AHL) and international levels. He served two seasons as the Boston Bruins head coach from 2003-06. Sullivan also spent 11 years as an NHL player with four different clubs from 1991-2002, appearing in over 700 games.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the Penguins’ organization,” said Botterill. “Mike adds a wealth of experience thanks to his many successful years coaching in the NHL and AHL, and with USA Hockey. We believe he will do a great job developing our prospects to prepare them for the jump to the NHL.”
A native of Marshfield, Massachusetts, Sullivan began his coaching career in 2002-03, starting the season as head coach of the AHL’s Providence Bruins before joining the NHL’s Bruins as an assistant coach late in the year. He was promoted to head coach of the NHL Bruins at age 35 in ’03-04, winning a Northeast Division crown in the first of his two years at the helm.
As the head coach in Providence, Sullivan compiled a record of 41-17-9-4 (.669 pct.) in 71 games before his promotion to Boston.
Sullivan served as an NHL assistant coach for seven-consecutive years from 2007-13, including two years with Tampa Bay (’07-09); four with the New York Rangers (’09-13); and one season with the Vancouver Canucks (’13-14). During the ’08-09 season with Tampa Bay, Sullivan coached with current Penguins’ assistant Rick Tocchet.
In addition to his professional coaching experience, Sullivan has twice coached the United States internationally. He was the head coach at the 2007 World Championship and an assistant coach at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turino, Italy.
During his coaching career, Sullivan has coached several members of Pittsburgh’s hockey operations staff.
In Sullivan’s second season behind Boston’s bench in ’05-06, he coached assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald; during the 2006 Olympics, assistant general manager Bill Guerin was on the squad; and Sullivan was an assistant coach with the Lightning in ‘08-09 when player development coach Mark Recchi skated for Tampa Bay.
This past season, Sullivan was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks player development staff where he worked closely with the organization’s top minor-league affiliate, the AHL’s Rockford Ice Hogs, as well as Chicago’s unsigned prospects. Sullivan was primarily responsible for the development of Chicago’s forward prospects.
Sullivan’s 11-year NHL career began with the expansion San Jose Sharks in 1991-92 and included stops in Calgary, Boston and Arizona. A penalty-killing specialist, Sullivan recorded 54 goals and 136 points in 709 NHL games. He scored 16 of his 54 goals shorthanded.
Sullivan was drafted by the New York Rangers in the fourth round (69th overall) of the 1987 NHL Draft. He played four years of collegiate hockey at Boston University from 1986-90, serving as the Terriers captain as a senior. Sullivan represented the U.S. as a player at the 1988 World Junior Championship.