Phone: (616) 774-4585
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Brad Tapper begins his first season with the Griffins organization, after having been named an assistant coach on July 2, 2018.
In his first season as a professional head coach in 2017-18, Tapper, 40, guided the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder to a 41-24-3-4 regular season record (0.618), a North Division title and an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. Forty-one wins tied for the fifth-most victories in franchise history and the Thunder finished fourth in the league in power play percentage at 19.1%.
Prior to joining Adirondack as head coach and director of hockey operations, Tapper spent the previous three seasons as an assistant in the AHL, serving the Chicago Wolves for two campaigns (2014-16) and the Rochester Americans for one (2016-17). He has totaled a 105-105-11-7 record (0.500) as an AHL assistant and helped Chicago reach the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Tapper began his pro coaching career as an assistant in the ECHL from 2010-14. During three seasons with the Florida Everblades from 2010-13, he helped the club post a 115-78-7-16 regular season record (0.586) and qualify three times for the Kelly Cup Playoffs. In the postseason, Florida tallied a 23-12 (0.657) record during that three-year stretch and won the Kelly Cup in 2012. While an assistant with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2013-14, the club recorded a 43-24-2-3 mark (0.632) and advanced to the playoffs.
During a professional playing career as a forward that spanned nine seasons (2000-09) between the NHL, AHL, IHL and Germany, Tapper compiled 289 points (122-167—289) and 787 PIM in 435 games. He contributed 25 points (14-11—25) in 71 NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers from 2000-03.
Tapper and Griffins head coach Ben Simon were teammates for back-to-back championships, as the duo helped Orlando hoist the IHL’s Turner Cup in 2001 before winning the Calder Cup with Chicago in 2002. Tapper and Simon also skated together as members of Iserlohn in Germany during the 2008-09 campaign.
As a collegian, Tapper competed for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1997-2000 and tallied 116 points (65-51—116) in 106 games. He finished fourth in the NCAA with 31 goals as a junior in 1999-00 before turning pro.
Tapper and his wife, Alison, have two sons, Blake and Hudson, and a daughter, Addison.