MIKE SULLIVAN IN NEPA
Sullivan was named Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach prior to the 2015-16 American Hockey League season, and guided the club to a 19-5-0-0 mark before being elevated to Pittsburgh Penguins head coach on December 12, 2015.
Sullivan has proved to be one of the most successful coaches in the NHL since he was hired by the Penguins midseason in 2015. He led Pittsburgh to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and ’17, becoming the first American-born head coach to win two Stanley Cups.
Sullivan is just the second head coach in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup in each of his first two years behind the bench with a team, following Toe Blake with Montreal.
Since taking over the Penguins’ bench on Dec. 12, 2015, Pittsburgh’s 251 regular-season wins rank third in the league, while its 41 playoff wins rank second. Sullivan’s 251 wins with Pittsburgh are the second-most in team history, behind Bylsma’s 252.
Sullivan, 53, previously served as an assistant coach on Peter Laviolette’s staff at the 2006 Olympics. He has also represented his home country as head coach of Team USA at the 2007 World Championship and as an assistant coach at the ’08 World Championship and ’16 World Cup.
The Marshfield, Massachusetts native will be the second U.S. Olympic head coach with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton connections. Dan Bylsma, who posted a 35-16-1 mark behind the AHL club’s bench during the 2008-09 season, was the head coach for Team USA at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Richards (2006-08) served as an assistant on Bylsma’s Olympic staff as well.