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One of the most popular players during the Griffins’ tenure in the International Hockey League, Bruce Ramsay begins his third season as an assistant coach under former teammate Todd Nelson. He helped guide Grand Rapids to the Calder Cup title last season, on the heels of a 2015-16 campaign in which the Griffins advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Prior to rejoining the Griffins, the 48-year-old Ramsay spent six seasons as the head coach of the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL and Central Hockey League, compiling a 185-180-35 record in 400 regular season games from 2009-15. Ramsay’s Oilers earned a 37-29-3-3 record in their first ECHL campaign in 2014-15 and qualified for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs, where they fell to the eventual champion Allen Americans in five games during the first round.
A native of Dryden, Ontario, Ramsay previously served as an assistant for Nelson from 2004-06, when the duo led the UHL’s Muskegon Fury to the Colonial Cup during their first season together and a 51-18-7 regular season record in their subsequent campaign. After Nelson departed for an assistant coaching position with the Chicago Wolves, Ramsay succeeded his colleague as the head coach of the Fury and produced an 84-56-12 regular season record in two seasons (2006-08) behind the bench. In all, Ramsay’s head coaching career spans 12 seasons between stints with the ACHL’s St. Pete/Winstom-Salem Parrots (2002-03), the UHL’s Port Huron Beacons (2002-04), the Fury, the IHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks (2008-09) and the Oilers.
Ramsay and Nelson were both members of the Griffins during the team’s inaugural season in 1996-97, and Ramsay collected nine goals and 14 assists in 175 games over three seasons (1996-99) with the team. His 781 penalty minutes as a Griffin rank second in franchise history, and he’s one of just three Grand Rapids players to ever twice eclipse 300 PIM, producing 306 PIM in 1996-97 and leading the team with 310 PIM in 1997-98. In 12 seasons as a professional player (1991-02, 2004-05), Ramsay amassed 245 points (74-171—245) and 3,432 PIM in 677 games.
Ramsay graduated from Ontario’s Lakehead University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a daughter, Natalie, and a son, Reid.