|Don Nachbaur is out as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs.|
(Photo: Larry Brunt/Spokane Chiefs)
Don Nachbaur, the third-winningest regular-season head coach in WHL history, is out as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs.
The team announced Thursday morning that it and Nachbaur “have mutually agreed to part ways.”
Nachbaur, who had been with the Chiefs since 2010, had a year left on his contract.
Nachbaur also has coached with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Tri-City Americans. He was 261-190-48 with the Chiefs. He holds the Spokane franchise records for regular-season games coached (496) and victories (261). In WHL history, his 691 regular-season victories rank third, behind the retired Ken Hodge (742) and Don Hay (720) of the Kamloops Blazers.
This season, the Chiefs went 27-33-12 and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Tim Speltz, the Chiefs’ longtime general manager, left the organization on Aug. 16 as he signed on as director of western scouting with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. He had been with the Chiefs for 26 years.
Scott Carter took over as general manager on Sept. 8.
On Sept. 23, the Chiefs signed Nachbaur to a contract extension through the 2017-18 season.
Nachbaur’s departure signals the first coaching change of the 22-team WHL’s offseason.
Here’s a look at the 22 WHL head coaches who have more than 300 regular-season victories to their credit (following 2016-17):
1. Ken Hodge (Edmonton, Portland), 742
2. Don Hay (Kamloops, Tri-City, Vancouver) 720
3. Don Nachbaur (Seattle, Tri-City, Spokane) 692
4. Lorne Molleken (Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina) 626
5. Ernie McLean (Estevan, New Westminster) 548
6. Mike Williamson (Portland, Calgary, Tri-City) 534
7. Pat Ginnell (Flin Flon, Victoria, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, New Westminster) 518
8. Peter Anholt (Prince Albert, Seattle, Red Deer, Kelowna, Lethbridge) 466
Jack Shupe (Medicine Hat, Victoria) 466
10. Dean Clark (Calgary, Brandon, Kamloops, Prince George) 465
11. Kelly McCrimmon (Brandon) 456
12. Bob Lowes (Seattle, Brandon, Regina) 453
13. Brent Sutter (Red Deer) 441
14. Marc Habscheid (Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Victoria, Prince Albert) 424
15. Doug Sauter (Calgary, Medicine Hat, Regina, Brandon) 417
16. Marcel Comeau (Calgary, Saskatoon, Tacoma, Kelowna) 411
17. Bryan Maxwell (Medicine Hat, Spokane, Lethbridge) 397
18. Graham James (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Calgary) 349
19. Bob Loucks (Lethbridge, Tri-City, Medicine Hat) 340
20. Willie Desjardins (Saskatoon, Medicine Hat) 333
21. Kevin Constantine (Everett) 326
22. Shaun Clouston (Medicine Hat) 320
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